He was more than a fan of Fullerton College he was a dear friend. Tom Duff passed away in his sleep at his Brea home early Wednesday morning and he will be greatly missed by his Hornet family.
When the 1961 FJC basketball team won the state title, Tom was there. When the 1965 football Hornets won the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Tom was there. When they won it again in 1967 at Anaheim Stadium, Tom was there. He had a special seat in the press box so he could cheer on the Hornets during the Hornet's state title victory for football just last fall. If it happened at Fullerton College after 1959 Tom was there. Win or lose, rain or shine, Tom was always there for the Hornets... and we loved him for it.
Due to his health, Tom was only able to make one home football game this season, the Mt. San Antonio game. He called Sports Information Director Phil Thurman every week to get the lowdown on the team.
"Tom would call and ask about the teams to see how they were doing, and how he was sorry that he couldn't make the games. He was a more than a fan. He truly loved everything about Fullerton College, especially the sports. He, along with his parents Dan and Jeri, were avid Hornets fans since the late nineteen-fifties", Phil Thurman.
In 2009, Duff was honored with the Dean's Award by the entire Athletic Department for his commitment to the Hornets. He was later inducted into the Fullerton College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015 for his dedicated service to various sports programs throughout the years.
Tom grew up in Fullerton and graduated from Fullerton High School in 1960, where he was the student body president.
He enrolled at Fullerton College in the fall of 1960 where he received an Associate of Arts degree in 1962. During his first semester, Tom produced Athletic Publicity for the Hornet football team.
After Fullerton, Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Chico State University in 1964. Soon after he attained a Master of Business Administration from Cal State Fullerton. He later completed the requirements for his CPA certificate in 1976.
In 1980, Tom returned to Fullerton College as an instructor where he happily taught for over 30 years.
Tom Duff passed away November 7, 2017, just weeks before his 75th birthday on November 25th.
A member Neptune Society, Duff will be cremated and then put to sea. He did not want a service as he never wanted anyone fussing over him. Tom always said "Feed me to the fish in the ocean".
Tom will always be there for the Hornets in spirit. Once a Hornet, Always a Hornet.