Marla Beth Duffy, age 56, of Bethel CT passed away unexpectedly on Sunday January 16th, 2022. Born in New York to Michael and Elaine Ballesteros, Marla built an abundantly happy life with her husband Mike (her Prince Charming), raising two beautiful and brilliant children, her son, Mickey, and her daughter, Brianna. She was adored by her sister Anita, and Anita’s children Alyssa and Eric. She was a loving and caring member of her family, embraced as one of the Duffy clan by her mother-in-law Sheila; sister-in-law Debbie and her husband Mark and their son Kellen; and brother-in-law Bill and his wife Lynn and their children Jenna and Ryen.
Marla was a force of nature, passionate and filled with life and laughter, embracing everyone she met with her joy of living, wry and quick sense of humor, and her infinite kindness. She left no one untouched by her smile. Marla and Mike had the best of marriages, brimming with love and faith and loyalty and friendship, always together and as much in love nearly 30 years later as the day they married. Marla was a fierce devoted mother, loving and raising her children in only the way she could, with humor and love and generosity, supporting them in all their interests throughout their childhood. She and her sister shared a unique bond, born of a nomadic childhood, that carried through their lives together.
Friends will remember an exuberant, funny, and always laughing Marla, who was involved in countless civic, charitable, and school-related activities with an abundance of energy. Marla was actively involved at Mickey’s and Brianna’s schools, from room mom in pre-school and elementary school, to crossing guard and “lunch lady” at Rockwell School, to being a board member for the NJROTC boosters club. As a “lunch lady” she always enjoyed those little smiling faces and got a big kick when they would sing “Happy Birthday” to her. She was a member of the “Pink Ladies” Relay for Life team where she made and continued countless friendships. She formed an incredible bond with this wonderful group of ladies. For a number of years she served as the secretary of the team, always interjecting her compassion, joy, and sense of humor at events, meetings, and especially her version of meeting recaps. Marla and Mike and their children have been members of St. Mary’s Church of Bethel, CT, since their move to town.
It can’t be left unsaid that Marla loved anything Disney, as anyone who knew her knows well. She enjoyed planning her family trips to Disney as much as going on them. With her passion and knowledge of Disney, she often helped friends and acquaintances plan their trips. Marla eventually put all that expertise to use as a travel agent for Kingdom Konsultant travel where she designed countless vacations for clients who became her newest friends. Many of those new friends came back year after year to have Marla plan a trip for them.
From her start in NY, Marla grew up in England, France, Portugal, and New York, moving to Stamford, CT, while in college and after graduation before settling in Bethel, CT. Marla graduated from SUNY Geneseo with her bachelor’s degree in communications in 1987. She enjoyed time with her beloved husband, son, and daughter, outings with friends, celebrating her children’s many achievements with pride, finishing her sister’s sentences, and innumerable always-memorable happy trips to Disney. Her love for life and her spirit has been so very tragically cut short. She leaves her family utterly bereft and friends throughout Bethel and across the world deeply saddened.
Marla is survived by her husband Michael A. Duffy, Jr, her children, Michael A. (“Mickey”) Duffy, III, and Brianna H. Duffy, all of Bethel, CT, by her sister, Anita Ballesteros of Somerville, MA, and her children Alyssa Vanderbeek of New York, NY, and Eric Vanderbeek of Ashland, MA, by her nephew Guy Stevens of Gretna, NE, and by her mother-in-law, Sheila Duffy of Darien, CT, by her sister-in-law Deborah Papparella and her husband Mark and their son Kellen of Colchester, CT, and by her brother-in-law William Duffy and his wife Lynn and their children Ryen and Jenna of Trumbull, CT.
The family will receive friends at the Bethel Funeral Home, 215 Greenwood Ave, Bethel, Wednesday evening January 26th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. A memorial service will be planned for the spring or early summer.