In memory of
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In memory of
WORLD WAR II INTERNMENT CAMP SURVIVOR Joske Y. Duffield, of Denver, former resident of Aurora, died October 10, 2016, at age 93. Born Josephine Yvonne van Geelen in Bandoeng, Java, in the former Netherlands East Indies (NEI), to Karel Lodewijk van Geelen and Theodora (Dolly) Henriette Antonia (née Liveu, subsequently van Geelen, then van Dijke) Hoekstra. Mrs. Duffield was an only child, raised under unhappy family circumstances. A Dutch national, she grew up in the pampered, colonial-era Dutch society in what is today Indonesia, as well as in the Netherlands. She attended the Kleine Klooster elementary school in Batavia (now Jakarta), 3 years at a neighborhood school ("het houten schooltje") in The Hague, the MULO School in Padang, Sumatra, and the Prinses Juliana Hogere Burgerschool (a 3-year high school) in Batavia. After high school, Mrs. Duffield took a secretarial course at the Instituut Gaus in Soerabaja, Java. Mrs. Duffield was working as a steno-typist for the Dutch Civil Air Protection Services (Luchtbeschermingsdienst) in Soerabaja when the Japanese invaded and occupied the NEI. Due to his position as chief administrative officer of the State Railways (Staatsspoorwegen) for East Java, Mrs. Duffield's father was taken into custody by the Kempeitai shortly after Dutch capitulation. She never saw him again. (He died aboard the Jun'yo Maru in September, 1944, when it was torpedoed by a British submarine.) Mrs. Duffield spent the War years in three Japanese internment camps on Java - Darmowijk in Soerabaja, and Gedangan and Lampersari, both in Semarang. After the Japanese surrender, Mrs. Duffield returned to Soerabaja to search for her father. Her quick thinking and fearlessness saved the lives of the residents of the house in which she lived from marauding mobs of young Indonesian nationalists (pemoedas). When she refused to be evacuated, she was taken captive and imprisoned in the Simpang Club by pemoedas, thereby surviving the ensuing Massacre of Soerabaja (November, 1945). Released by Deibel Effendi when the nationalists were forced to retreat inland, she subsequently worked for the Allied British Military Police in Soerabaja until they handed over power to their Dutch successors (April, 1946). Mrs. Duffield returned to the Netherlands in August, 1946, where she met her future husband, Thomas Jefferson (Jeff) Duffield, Jr., an American Foreign Service Officer. Mr. Duffield was posted to Rotterdam and rented a room in Mrs. Hoekstra's flat, in one of the few buildings in central Rotterdam that survived the Blitz. [Raised in Paris, Mr. Duffield was educated at the École Bossuet, one year in the Clarinda, Iowa public schools, École du Montcel, Lycée Buffon, and the Université Paris-Sorbonne (law school) before moving back to the U.S. in late 1935. After a year at Columbia University, Mr. Duffield attended Harvard University, graduating in 1941 (magna cum laude). He subsequently served in World War II with the 101st Airborne Division in the Battle of the Bulge, becoming a Purple Heart recipient. Mr. Duffield died in 1984.] They married in 1948, at The Church of Saint Mary in Rotterdam. Their first daughter was born in Rotterdam the following year. Mrs. Duffield became a U.S. citizen in 1950, in Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Duffield accompanied her husband over the course of his career to Saigon, Vietnam (1950-1952 - where their second daughter was born), Frankfurt, Germany (1952-1955 - where their third daughter was born), Madrid, Spain (1955-1956), Oporto, Portugal (1956-1958 - where their son was born), Washington, D.C. (1958-1962) and Porto Alegre, Brazil (1963-1967). By the time the Duffields settled in Potomac, Maryland in 1967, Mrs. Duffield had learned to speak seven languages. After working as a clerical accounting supervisor/auditor in GEICO's Washington, DC offices, Mrs. Duffield accepted a position in their newly-opened Denver office in the summer of 1970. She moved back to Maryland (Bethesda) in mid-1974, but returned to Colorado in mid-1977, where her career in the financial sector moved her through the ranks at most of Denver's largest banks. She retired in 1986. Mrs. Duffield was an enthusiastic ice hockey fan, and enjoyed her grandchildren, gardening and shopping. A smoker for much of her life, Mrs. Duffield battled emphysema for many years. Although never clinically diagnosed, she almost certainly suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder (most likely inherited from her mother, and passed on to three of her children and one granddaughter) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder as well. Mrs. Duffield is survived by her four children, Barbara Duffield of Concord, Massachusetts, Judy (Klein) Greenberg of San Antonio, Texas, Caroline Duffield of Denver and James Duffield of Aurora. She is also survived by four granddaughters, Meredith Klein of Santa Monica, California, Elaine Klein of Seattle, Washington, Lily Duffield of Washington, DC, and Emily Duffield of Aurora, as well as one great-granddaughter, Eliora Rosenklein of Seattle. Mrs. Duffield was thrilled to have met her first great-grandchild a few weeks before her death. Mrs. Duffield requested that her remains be cremated and her ashes scattered. Memorial services will be private. An expanded obituary can be found on the Monarch Society website.
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