The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 4, 2013

Fr. Ralph Duffner

CHAFFEE, Mo. — Fr. Ralph J. Duffner, 83, of Chaffee, Mo., died Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Jackson Manor, Jackson, Mo.

Fr. Duffner was born Aug. 4, 1930, in St. Louis, Mo.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph Joseph Duffner and Agnes Anna (Stuesse) Duffner.

Fr. Duffner is survived by a sister, Margaret J. Scheiner; two nephews, Gregory G. Scheiner, (wife, Ellen) and Jeffrey C. Scheiner, (wife, Nancy); a niece, Mary E. Moran; two great-nieces, Nicole M. Scheiner and Stacie P. Scheiner; and three great-nephews, Erik O. Scheiner, Mark J. Scheiner and Adam G. Scheiner.

Fr. Duffner was ordained a priest on March 17, 1956, in St. Louis Cathedral for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. His first assignment was as assistant pastor of St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Cape Girardeau, which became the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation when the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau was formed later that same year. Other pastoral assignments included pastor of St. Susanne Parish in Mount Vernon, St. Ann Parish in Malden, St. Mary Mission in Campbell, Sacred Heart in Poplar Bluff,  St. Lawrence Parish in New Hamburg, and St. Ambrose Parish in Chaffee.

A few of Fr. Duffner's many other appointments included serving as chaplain for the Missouri State Sanatorium in Mount Vernon; St. John's Hospital in Springfield; Missouri Chest Hospital in Mount Vernon; and Veterans Hospital in Poplar Bluff. He was also assistant director of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, assistant director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and Then-Bishop William Baum's representative for Health and Hospitals in 1970.

Although Fr. Duffner officially retired on Aug. 15, 2000, he continued to serve as parochial administrator of St. Ambrose Parish in Chaffee until 2010. After his assignment at St. Ambrose, he continued sacramental assistance in area parishes along with Southeast Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center when needed.

Vespers for Fr. Duffner will be at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, in St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 418 South 3rd Street, Chaffee, followed by visitation from 4 until 8 p.m. Parish Prayers will be held at 8 p.m. The Mass of Resurrection will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in St. Ambrose Catholic Church, followed by burial in St. Ambrose Catholic Cemetery.

Messages of sympathy may be sent to Gregory Scheiner in care of State Farm Insurance, 9159 South Harlem Avenue, Bridgeview, IL, 60455.

Online condolences may be made at

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