Bryan Duffey, the Minnehaha Academy staff member critically injured in Wednesday’s blast, is known across the south Minneapolis campus as a loyal employee with passion for his faith, service to others and soccer.
Duffey, 26, was on custodial duty inside the academy’s upper school during the 10:23 a.m. natural gas explosion. Two other staff members, fellow custodian John F. Carlson and receptionist Ruth Berg, who were near him, did not survive. In a statement issued Thursday, Duffey’s family said he remains in critical but stable condition at Hennepin County Medical Center with “traumatic injuries that will require more surgery.”
“We’ve seen a lot of positive progress and know he’s getting the best care possible,” the family wrote, “but we also believe in the power of prayer and are thankful for the continued outpouring of support for Bryan and the entire Minnehaha Academy community. ... We covet those prayers for his recovery, and we ask that you also pray for the students who witnessed this traumatic event as well as the others who were injured.”
Facilities director Curt Bjorlin described Duffey, who joined the school a year ago and also is an assistant boys soccer coach, as a “nice guy and hard worker, with a good heart.”
Duffey graduated in 2013 from Northwestern College in Iowa with a degree in Christian education and youth ministry. While there, he played soccer and met his future wife, 2012 Northwestern graduate Jamie Duffey-Jeltema.
Duffey took on a faith-based mission internship, Hope for Opelousas, in Louisiana.
“I consider myself to be a pretty chill guy that needs God’s grace every minute of my life,” Duffey wrote in his biography posted online at the time.