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James Thomas McDuffie III


  • John Robert McDuffie Sr. – Born 1756, Scotland
  • Enoch McDuffie – Born 3/-/1794, Harrison, Kentucky, USA
  • Fielding Delaplane McDuffie – Born 2/5/1821, Harrison, Kentucky, USA
  • James Thomas McDuffie Sr. – Born 12/4/1857, Rushville, Indiana, USA
  • James Thomas McDuffie Jr. – Born 12/22/1910, Sandpoint, Idaho, USA
  • James Thomas McDuffie III – Born 3/2/1955, Denver, Colorado, USA
  • James Thomas McDuffie IV – Born 11/18/1981, Westminster, California, USA
  • James Thomas McDuffie V – Born 11/29/2012, Carson City, Nevada, USA

Life in Short:

Born March 2nd 1955, in Denver Colorado to Kathryn and James T. McDuffie Jr. JT moved with his family to Nigeria Africa in 1962 as missionaries. His father was a Doctor and a Surgeon and his Mother was a Nurse. They moved back into the United States in 1965 to Oxnard California. He attended and graduated from Oxnard High School and Newberry Park High School in 1972. And he then shortly attended Pacific Union College in Angwin California in 1973. He mostly played with computers and model rocketry before dropping out of college in 1974.

He moved to Loma Linda for a year and worked on a computer project for the department of public health. In 1976 he moved to Orange County, CA to work for a company called Micro Data. There he would meet and marry Susan Jeanne Gau in December 1977.

Katrina Ann McDuffie, his Daughter and first born, arrived on October 15th 1980, followed by his name sake James Thomas McDuffie IV on November 18th 1981.

Micro Data shut down in 1982 and JT moved his family up to Washington 1983 to work for DEN Electronics. Scott Andrew McDuffie joined the clan as the final child on Sept 24th 1985 in Kirkland Washington.

DEN went out of business in 1986 and JT again moved his family to Phoenix Arizona in late 1986. He worked for EDGE Computers between 1986 and 1989. He was offered a job KUBOTA Graphics in 1989 and his family and him moved to San Jose California. KUBOTA graphics shut down in 1992 and JT went into business for himself as McDuffie and Associates. He was a consultant, network provider, and network and server installations contractor.

In 1995 he got offered the Director of Information Technology at PLX Technology. With a push to move parts of the business into Minden Nevada JT moved his family there in 2000. After some mutual dissatisfaction with PLX he quit working for them in 2005.

Dr. James T. McDuffie Jr

Bachelor of Science in Management

After the PLX fallout he tried to rebuild his consulting business in Nevada. During this time he went back to school and finally finished college by earning his Bachelors of Science in Management (with honors). But being stuck in the middle of an economic recovery and the lack of a degree in his specific field, he was unsuccessful. With the stress of his unsuccessful progress at recovering his career, exhausting his life savings, and fighting with bouts of depression, he had exhausted his options and his marriage. JT and Sue were separated in 2008 and divorced in 2010.

He moved to Southern California at the end of 2008. The first few years of his financial struggle were extremely hard on JT, but after a few hard career resets, his computer consulting business began to recover. On and off consulting jobs came his way between 2011 and 2013, and finally an opportunity came his way late in 2013. On December 16th 2013 he was offered a position at healthcare information technology company. JT was elated at the possibilities.

While trying to finalize an existing project before moving on to his new job, JT pushed himself to far. Between the stress of his financial distress, failed marriage, and poor health choices, JT died of a heart attack on the morning of December 18th, 2013.

Eulogy: A Sons Reflection

I talked to my dad every day for the past two years. So what do you say about the man that shaped your life? I’m not sure I really have all the right words, I tried getting stories from people, and talking about what they remembered best. Putting together a genealogy and a life in brief, but none of it really did him justice. So I decided that the best thing I can do is just tell you who my dad is from my perspective.

My dad was a romantic, a dreamer; he was a pilot, a scholar, an intellectual, a fact finder, an explorer, a singer, a Scuba Diver, Computer genius, architect, builder, carpenter, gun enthusiast, outdoorsman, *pause for breath* food and wine lover, reader, movie watcher, astronomer, math wiz, a seeker of the truth and a teller of stories. A caretaker, hope bringer, joy giver, heart mender, the peace maker and a heartbreaker, a TRUE renaissance man, and I’m not really joking when I say this. My dad knew more about everything that most of us would care to admit. And not because he was smarter than any of us, but because he cared about each of us. I never really understood it until a friend of mine said the same thing about me at my wedding “You’d never know James didn’t know something, because he cared about you and if your interested in a topic he didn’t know about he would go read everything he could about it just so he could talk with you about it.” And that’s just the type of person Dad was, and someone I feel very blessed to have picked up some pretty awesome traits. And I truly am my fathers son, so if you thought this was going to be short I'm sorry. *grin*

Growing up he was my greatest hero, someone I looked up to, someone that could do no wrong, someone that I put on a pedestal and looked at with awe. Why? Simply because when I was a kid my Dad was awesome.

And what made him awesome was that he always found time to spend with his family. He enjoyed helping us with our homework (especially with math and reading). He enjoyed taking us on adventures, whether that was camping or pathfinder outings. We were always going to museums and aquariums, and gardens, and beaches, and all of the coolest places. Friday nights were pizza nights and Saturday nights were movie and popcorn nights almost every week for our entire childhoods. We watched Star Trek, Babylon 5, Sea Quest, Andromeda, Hercules and Xena. Always as a family, together. He paid attention to what was important to us, what we asked Santa Claus for Christmas and always made time for making our birthdays special. He read to us before bed and on lazy afternoons and he always woke us up with singing his horrible renditions of “It’s Time to Get Up” and “Oh what a beautiful Morning”. He took us shooting, rock climbing, biking and skiing. And we had great family vacations to places like The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Hawaii, and Cozumel. But most importantly he recognized the value of family. We drove down to see our grandparents for every major holiday. I’m not sure how he and my mom handled all of those long car rides with three kids (trust me I know, I have three boys), but we all talked and sang songs and spent a lot of time laughing. And music like Enya or Moody Blues will be forever burned into the back of my brain.

He also loved spending time with each of us individually.

For me he taught me how to shave, the differences between a full Windsor and half Windsor, how to build rockets and models, use electronic and chemistry sets, and how to build my first computer. He also took me on most of his consulting jobs as a kid. Needing me to climb through rafters and under houses and buildings where I was “just the right size” to install networking cables where he wasn’t. During that time he taught me everything I know about networks, servers, and the foundation for my career as a computer scientist. And he encouraged me to go to college and helped me purchase my first car.

But what I will cherish most are all the days we spent talking. Long conversations when we went on trips together that would cover a myriad of subjects and jump from one topic to another topic seemingly with out connection or reason, but we knew, we had our own language, our own connection. I feel blessed that dad and I were both tech geeks because I think we connected on a level that most people don’t understand. Dad was my mentor, my advisor, and my greatest supporter.

And he helped all of his kids, not just me, to the best of his ability. And that’s the thing I remember the most about dad. He loved us! And he strove with everything he could to give us the best lives that we could possibly have. And I really think that my childhood was more blessed than anyone, ever (and it may be a little biased). But he’s my dad so what do you expect? And as an adult I am lucky enough that he also became one of my greatest friends, someone I relied upon and confided in.

But don’t let all of this fool you, he wasn’t perfect. He was human, just like you or me, and he had his faults. He wasn’t good at being honest about his feelings, especially with those that he cared for the most. He wasn’t good at planning for the long haul like finishing college or buying a house, or putting money into savings. He always spent too much money on gadgets and hobbies like rockets or guns or planes. He was good at talking (just like me), but he was never the best at listening or knowing that sometimes just shutting up was the right thing to do. He loved others unconditionally, but he never figured out how to just love himself. And he never let his failures go, and they haunted him.

So he also helped me learn some of the hardest lessons in life and most of them not on purpose. I watched him carefully as I grew up, taking in all of his faults and making sure that I learned not to make the same mistakes. That I learned to save and plan, that not going to college wasn’t an option, that I needed to control my hobbies and not allow them to control me. To communicate as openly as possible with my wife and with my children, and that I should try as often as possible to just shut up and listen. I learned that I should always forgive myself and learn from my past but never regret the past and always build towards a better future. And that the greatest virtues were forgiveness and patience.

Dad always had these little catch phrases. Things that he liked to say over and over so we wouldn’t forget them. Like “Put it back where you got it.” Usually in reference to when I “borrowed” one of his tools. “Treat others like you want to be treated” which was usually following “Stop hitting your brother or sister!” Whenever I’d ask him what something meant he’d look at me and contemplate telling me and instead he’d just say, “Look it up!” And he was always telling us “Think before you act!” Which was usually directly after one of us had acted too rash, smacked someone, jumped right to being angry or after we had made a pretty bad decision. “You didn’t think… did you?” He would say. And even though I was annoyed at all of these little phrases, as an adult they make sense! I even catch myself saying each of them to my children all the time, especially the “Think before you act!” But most importantly, dad never forgot to tell us “I love you.”

These are the things that have shaped my life and the lives of my family, most of them good, a few of them bad, but all of them memories that have been my guiding light. And while I know that dad wasn’t perfect. He was my dad, and always will be the best dad of all time (even though it is a little biased).