Why We Give: Harry and Ginny

The Garden is a Part of Their Family History

Harry and Ginny Duffy Harry and Ginny Duffy

Ginny’s childhood home on Lafayette Avenue was about a half mile from the Garden. She remembers wandering through Garden grounds with her friend Alice, when the landscape was far less developed than it is today.

Ginny and Alice would climb a big ginkgo tree when they visited, or stop and say hello to Mrs. G.H. Pring, wife of legendary horticulturist George Pring and friendly Girl Scouts volunteer.

Harry Duffy also grew up less than a mile from the Garden. When he and Ginny married in 1947, the couple stayed close to the Garden and started their family. In 1960, Harry and Ginny’s three children, all younger than 10, would walk to the Garden to watch the building of the Climatron®. The family also enjoyed vegetables from a plot of ground their son Tom managed at the Garden as part of an elementary school project.

“It was just a nice place to be with the kids,” Ginny says, “and it was fun to watch the Garden grow. It went from a nice garden to a spectacular enterprise, and I feel like we grew with it.”

The couple moved to a new home in Des Peres in 1964, but their affection for the Garden remained. When Harry retired in 1995, the Duffys planned a charitable remainder trust as a gift to the Garden. They have supported the institution in other ways as well. A bench in the Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden bears their name in recognition of a gift to the Stewards of the Earth capital campaign, and the couple regularly honors the passing of friends with memorial gifts.

Ginny no longer looks for a ginkgo tree to climb when she and Harry visit. Instead, the couple takes a tram ride “to see what new thing is happening.”