LIFE­TIMES

Waterloo Region Record - - Local -

Kelly, adding Duff was an ex­tro­vert, very gre­gar­i­ous and he be­came vi­tal to the lives of many peo­ple.

When his friend, Cur­tis Tulk, a long time Kitch­ener Mar­ket busker, de­vel­oped can­cer last year, Duff stepped up, help­ing with ev­ery­thing from gro­cery shop­ping to car­ry­ing Cur­tis’ equip­ment to the mar­ket ev­ery Satur­day. Cur­tis died Sept. 7, 2018.

Duff was born in Kitch­ener, Aug. 12, 1966, one of four kids. Older brother, Peter Becker said that at the height of the abuse from their par­ents, the Men­non­ite Brethren Church stepped in and sup­ported the fam­ily. Their lives did im­prove but the abuse did not stop. His mother died when Duff was 10, then his dad when he was 12 and along with, Peter, the boys ended up in fos­ter care, taken in by Lynn Law­ton, a woman who cared deeply for her young charges.

The Work­ing Cen­tre’s Re­becca Mancini re­called “he said she loved him more than any­one else in his life.”

Peter said he thinks Lynn’s death when they were teenagers deeply im­pacted Duff and started him on that down­ward spi­ral.

Friend, Cur­rie Chap­man, said Duff had al­ready been deal­ing with the death of his birth par­ents.

“He would go to the Mount Hope ceme­tery and sleep by his mom’s grave,” said Cur­rie. “He did that a lot.” An­other friend, Tessa Jen­ni­son, said he ac­tu­ally climbed the tree near the graves of both par­ents and there were testy ex­changes be­tween him and po­lice as they tried to get him to de­scend.

In his per­sonal life, Duff had a re­la­tion­ship with a woman for nearly 18 years and he’d had jobs in ev­ery­thing from agri­cul­ture to run­ning a fish­ing tackle shop and temp agency. But al­co­hol took over and he couldn’t main­tain that life­style. Ev­ery­thing crum­bled.

Duff and Cur­rie struck up a friend­ship when both were liv­ing on the streets half a dozen years ago. There was some­thing dif­fer­ent about Duff, he said, some­thing that drew him to the gan­gly guy with the huge smile.

Duff and Cur­rie were a self­ap­pointed street pa­trol team, Cur­rie said, re­mem­ber­ing the pair walk­ing up and down King,

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