The world lost a little piece of sunshine last week, when local business owner, father and friend Bill Duffer, passed away unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack on Thursday, February 25th, at the age of 64.
The man with the quit wit, magnetic smile and generous heart owned and operated Macon Rental store in Lafayette for the past 22 years, where he welcomed customers with more than a handshake; sharing stories, jokes and challenging friends to a friendly game of double-or-nothing dice or coin flipping.
Born in Macon County on December 17, 1945 to the late John Henry and MaryAnn Elizabeth Ball Duffer, Bill resided on his family farm his entire life, finding a sense of peace and comfort outdoors, high up on the seat of his tractor or tending to his cows.
The father of five children; Brent Duffer, Annie Carver, Kay Dyer, April Zachary and Hope Gregory, Bill enjoyed the simple things in life like spending time with his family and being a grandfather.
Before opening Macon Rental, Bill owned and operated D&R Form Contractors for 27 years, a concrete business that allowed him to combine two of his great loves, meeting new people and working hard at his craft.
While many of his friends will always remember him for his one-of-a-kind personality and outgoing nature, his children hold tight to the warm, tender moments they’ve shared with their father as children and the friend they found in him as they grew into adulthood.
“As kids, some of our fondest memories were gardening and cutting wood with our dad,” remembers Hope. “As a father, he was tender-hearted, always honest, and the hardest working man I’ve ever know.”
Every year, Bill’s family gathered at his farm to celebrate Father’s Day with a barbecue and an afternoon of fishing in his pond.
An avid knife collector and auction bidder, Bill was described as a “people person,” a trait that his daughter Annie witnessed every day as she worked side-by-side with her dad at Macon Rental for more than 16 years.
“He enjoyed talking to people more than anything,” she remarked. “He made sure that every child that came into the shop had a piece of candy before they left, and he always showed off the tricks he taught Penny, our Macon Rental dog.”
“He was famous for always telling people, ‘If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t aggravated you’,” added Bill’s son Brent.
There was seldom anything that could light up Bill’s face more than the time he spent with his ten grandchildren; Kyle, Kameron, Kaleb, Travis, Dusty, Wesley, Lindsi, Hannah, Jake & Cole. Whether it was riding four-wheelers or going to the Country Junction, Bill always beamed with his grandchildren in tow.
When asked what he will miss most about those moments spent with his grandfather, Bill’s second eldest grandson Kyle responded with one word, “Everything.”
With a sense of humor that lit up a room, a magnetic smile and a generosity that will not soon be forgotten by all who knew him, Bill Duffer leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, friendship and family; a testament to the man he was . . . a man who will be missed by many.