Sept. 2, 1954 – Jan. 31, 2013

Lachez McDuffie, an outstanding student in her youth who later worked at local service agencies while raising a family of six children in Amherst, died Thursday after a short illness in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. She was 58.

The former Lachez Hampton was born in Harlem – during a family visit to New York City – but she grew up in the Buffalo area, living for a time on North Division Street.

She attended School 75 and graduated from East High School in 1972, earning a place as the salutatorian of her class. She was offered many college scholarships, including some to top-ranked universities.

While in high school, Mrs. McDuffie married Stevenson McDuffie – a neighborhood sweetheart and childhood friend – when she was 16.

A bright student, Mrs. McDuffie earned a degree in English from Canisius College in 1985, where she made the dean’s list for her academic achievements.

She worked for People Inc. for 11 years as a director of one of the organization’s homes, located on Main Street in Williamsville.

She also worked for Community Services in North Buffalo as a site director until 2004.

Mrs. McDuffie and her husband lived in Buffalo and moved to Amherst in the early 1990s.

“She lived life to the fullest,” said her son Christopher, the youngest of Mrs. McDuffie’s six children.

Survivors, in addition to her husband of 42 years and youngest son, include four other sons, Terrance, Steve, Theodore and Thaddeus; a daughter, Lachez; two brothers, Theodore Hampton and Thaddeus Robinson; and two sisters, Diane Kelly and Linda Hall.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in First Shiloh Baptist Church, 15 Pine St.