Beryl Aleda Putnam Duffin passed away on March 2, 2023 at her home in Davis, California at the age of 97. She would have celebrated her 98th birthday four weeks later on March 31.
Beryl was born to Ora Katherine Holmstead and Anton Wilson Putnam in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 31, 1925. Having lost her father to pneumonia when she was only 3 years old, Beryl and her younger brother, Glen, were raised by a single mother during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Those early years of her life taught her to be frugal and resourceful. Graduating from Lehi High School (Utah) with honors in Utah in May 1943, the school principal informed her that she would have been valedictorian if she had only participated in sports. Beryl worked for a year in a Salt Lake City factory manufacturing parts for aircraft radio equipment used during World War II. Following two years as a student at the University of Utah, Beryl married Robert Beck Duffin in 1946 in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following Robert’s graduation from Utah State University in 1950, the couple moved to Oklahoma where they raised their five children. In 1969 they moved to Davis, California where Robert had obtained a position at the University of California at Davis in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Majoring in Linguistics, Beryl received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 with “highest honors” from the University of California at Davis (UCD); and in 1976 she received a Master of Arts degree from UCD. After serving in various positions in the UCD English Department, she became the Assistant Director of the International Training and Education Center at the university in 1981 and became the center’s Director in 1988, a position which she held until her retirement in 1991. Beryl loved to read and had a library full of books. For most of her life, she was interested in genealogy and family history and spent countless hours conducting research about the lives of her ancestors, compiling approximately 50 family history books. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in multiple positions in the church, including Assistant Director of the Davis Stake Family History Center in Woodland, CA for many years. Beryl was preceded in death by her husband, Robert (1999), and by her son, Brent (2019). She is survived by her children: Michael Duffin, Ann Duffin, Jilene Burch, and Kathy Knecht. She will be buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery in Utah.