On Jan. 3, Janet Duff-Lane, Santa Clarita resident for 17 years, and her family celebrated Duff-Lane’s 95th birthday at the Elder Creek Villa in Canyon Country, reminiscing on a lifetime full of memories.
Duff-Lane was born in New York on Jan 3, 1928, being the youngest out of nine siblings.
“I was nice to them,” said Duff-Lane.
She grew up Catholic and attended an all-girls school until she reached high school. Duff-Lane experienced a “culture shock” at Fairfax High School, saying that there was too much necking going on. She later attended Hollywood and Dorsey High School.
At age 13, she began dating Jim Duff. After seven years of dating, the two were wed in October of 1948, all thanks to Jim’s proposal by sending the ring in the mail.
The two had three children together – Bob, Tom and Marirose.
As the children grew up, Duff-Lane worked in many fields. She worked for the phone company, wrapped presents in the men’s department of the May Department Stores company and worked for Bank of America as a teller for 25 years.
“Yeah, I gotta go back,” said Duff-Lane.
The most prominent aspect in the family’s lives – traveling.
“We always didn’t have money, but every summer we went camping. That was our vacation,” said Bob Duff.
Bob said that many travels were taken in their 1968 Volkswagen Westfalia, with a pop-up camper. Duff-Lane would pack the kids into the bus and drive down to Mexico.
Duff-Lane’s love for traveling is her love language to her children.
As much as the family travelled together, Duff-Lane and Jim would also take many vacations themselves.
“We left the kids at home,” said Duff-Lane while laughing.
Duff-Lane has traveled to England, Ireland, Russia, South Africa, Australia, Austria and many more places.
“That’s where we learned to dance the waltz,” said Duff-Lane, recalling her time in Austria with Jim.
Her favorite way of travelling – cruises.
Duff-Lane’s family all agreed that she has been on “easily” over 100 cruises in her lifetime.
“We used to say she had ants in her pants,” said Bob on her constantly traveling.
She said that cruising down the Panama Canal was her favorite of all the cruises.
Her love for traveling has been passed down to her kids, and now her two grandkids. These family travels will forever remain her children’s favorite memories with their mom.
“Travel, don’t wait ’til you have the money to do it,” said Marirose Duff. “Don’t wait until you retire. My dad passed away before he even retired … Travel everywhere.”