Clark R. Duffy

Clark R. Duffy, 73, of Topeka, KS, passed away on April 17, 2022. He was born December 22, 1948, in Abilene, KS, the son of Gaylord and Ruth Duffy. He was raised on the family farm near Chapman and attended Wesley, a one-room schoolhouse, where his mother was his teacher through 5th grade…there were no easy A’s. 

Clark graduated from Dickinson County Community High School in 1967, where he was crowned Sports King. Clark’s undergraduate work at McPherson College was interrupted by the Vietnam War when he and several of his buddies enlisted in the Marine Corps. Due to Clarks proficiency in typing and penchant for following orders, he served stateside with the Atlantic Fleet HQ, writing orders. After returning home, he resumed his studied at Kansas State University, earning a BS in political science. EMAW! 

Clark chose to attend Colorado State University to complete an MA in Political Science. He was drawn to CSU because of their emphasis on environmental studies or, as we all suspect, he just wanted to hit the ski slopes.  

After submitting 162 job applications, Clark was hired as an analyst by the Division of the Budget for the State of Kansas under Governors Bennett and Carlin. Clark continued his state service in the Kansas Water Office and the KDHE Bureau of Air and Radiation. He worked in the private sector for six years as Associate Director of the American Petroleum Institute (API).  

Clark served eight years on the Topeka City Council representing district 6, including one term as Deputy Mayor. He served as President of the Kansas Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) and the Kansas Association of Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE). Clark was a recipient of the John K. Strickler Award for Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education.  

Clark enjoyed his retirement by teaching as an Adjunct Professor in the Political Science Department at Washburn University, serving as a consultant with FEMA on nuclear disaster preparedness, and raising grassfed beef, wheat and soybeans on the family farm.  

Clark was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife, Susan, and children, Erin (Lance), Brenna (Evy), and Colin, two grandchildren, Henry and Eleanor, and sister, Jody Davis (Don).  

In his free time, Clark could be found tuning into Formula 1 at o’dark-thirty or sitting on the 45-yard line at the Bill Snyder Family Stadium. As a true Irishman, Clark celebrated his St. Patrick’s Day wedding anniversary donning a kilt, whiskey in hand, and Van Morrison in the background. Clark enjoyed cards; canasta with the family and pitch with his boyhood friends. Clark loved: milk, crosswords, his red corvette, the north 40 gardens, westerns, three squares ALL with beef, creating lists and plans, coaching his children (they did NOT love this), frequent chats with the “helpful” employees at Microsoft, “Head Start” meetings with the kids, watching public TV with Susan and MSNBC.  

Clark’s recipe for life: be a lifelong learner, travel, be an ethical leader, have passion for what you do, and do what you know.  

True to Clarks spirit, a celebration of his life will be on Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 2022, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Celtic Fox in Downtown Topeka.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Washburn University Foundation Political Science Department, 1729 SW MacVicar Ave, Topeka KS 66614, or the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, 2610 Claflin Road, Manhattan KS 66502, or the High Country News, PO Box 1090, Paonia CO 81428. Condolences may be sent online to


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