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Former Teacher of the Year and Ordained Minister Serves as Beloved Role Model 

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (March 28, 2024) — A birthday celebration replete with balloons, flowers and cake for all was certainly in order for Mary Duff, a resident of Markley Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Norristown, who recently turned 104. Throughout her life, the former Teacher of the Year and minister has served as a beloved role model for family, friends and countless others.  

Duff, who is one of eight children in her family and originally from Abingdon, Va., grew up in the segregated South. She graduated from Bluefield State University, a historically black institution in West Virginia, where she earned her teaching degree at its School of Education.  

For more than 30 years, Duff taught 9th grade English in the Philadelphia school system. She was awarded Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year honor in 1972. With a continued focus on being of service to the community – and not being one to sit still –Duff became ordained as a Methodist Minister upon her retirement from teaching.  

“Mary’s many achievements defy odds; hers is an incredible life story of resilience,” said Brian Snodgrass, life enrichment director at Markley, where Mary has resided since 2021. “It was our delight to celebrate this milestone birthday with Mary and her dear family.”  

The centenarian has one child, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Granddaughter Jamila H. Winder, who serves as the Montgomery County Commissioner and joined in the birthday festivities, credits much of what she has accomplished because of the example set by Duff.  

Located at 550 E. Fornance St., Markley Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, provides short-term rehab, long-term care and post-hospital care. Known for its quality care and services, the 121-bed skilled nursing facility maintains a five-star rating for quality measures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and has earned a prestigious accreditation from The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. More information on Markley can be found at  

PHOTO CAPTION: Mary Duff, a resident of Markley Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Norristown, celebrated her 104th birthday with (L-R, standing) Markley’s Brian Snodgrass, life enrichment director; Leueen Boham, director of nursing; Denisha Mayo, CNA; Carmen Giddings, NHA; and granddaughter Jamila H. Winder, who is the Montgomery County Commissioner.  


Markley Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center    
550 East Fornance Street, Norristown, Pa. 19401    

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Media Contact: 
Sandy Crisafulli / David Wilderotter         
Caryl Communications         
201-796-7788 /