Jessie Westerfield Duer, 71, of Auburn, died Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Navarre, Fla., after a long, valiant struggle with cancer.
She was born in Morgantown on Nov. 8, 1941, a daughter of the late James Oliver and Alva Isabelle Fishburn Westerfield. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Duer was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, James Huffines Duer; her grandson, John Taylor Arney; her brother, Robert Westerfield, and her sisters, Barbara Moore and Mary Alva Hinkle.
Mrs. Duer achieved licensure as one of the state’s first female paramedics and was the first paramedic in Logan County. During her career, she served as director of the Auburn Ambulance Service and applied her lifesaving skills at other ambulance services throughout the state, most notably at The Medical Center at Bowling Green and the Butler, Hartford and Logan County ambulance services. At the time of her death, she was serving her second of two consecutive terms as an Auburn City Council member. She was instrumental in the completion of the Auburn Senior Center scheduled to open Sunday. She graduated from Butler County High School and attended Western Kentucky University. She loved bridge club and quilts and enjoyed watching UK basketball and Gaither gospel concerts. She was a member of West End Church of Christ in Bowling Green and spent much of the last year in the care of family members in Florida.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 16 at 10 a.m. at Young Funeral Home Auburn Chapel. Burial will follow in the Auburn Cemetery. Visitation will begin at the funeral home Friday, March 15 from 4-7 p.m.
She is survived by her children, Jamie Duer Arney and husband John of Franklin, James Arthur Duer and wife Josephine of Nashville, Tenn. and Olivia Duer Nelson and husband Keith of Navarre; her grandchildren, Morgan, Mary Patton, Payne and Madeline Arney of Franklin, Samuel and James Patrick Duer of Nashville, Tenn. and Colin and Daschle Nelson of Navarre, and her siblings, James Weldon Westerfield of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Kathryn Westerfield Brown and husband Ben Brown of Quality, William E. Westerfield and wife Sandee of Loveland, Ohio and Sonja Westerfield Stewart of Lexington.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a memorial contribution be made in Mrs. Duer’s name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or to a fund to improve the Auburn City park and senior center. Local residents wishing to donate to the local improvement funds should contact Mrs. Claudia Jordan or Mrs. Virginia Wilson of Auburn.