Rosemary Duffy Larson’s Legacy Lives On: Meet the James Family

The dream of homeownership will soon become a reality for Eartha and Virgil James’ family, thanks to the thoughtful planning by Rosemary Duffy Larson, who in her lifetime  established a trust of more than $4 million to support Broward organizations, including Habitat for Humanity of Broward.

The Rosemary Duffy Larson Trust and trustee Alan Ruf have partnered with Church By The Sea to construct the James’ home in Pompano Beach. “With more than two dozen dedicated volunteers from Church By The Sea who are donating their time to help build the home, we are doing exactly what Rosemary envisioned when she established the Trust – affecting positive change to better our community.”

After years of moving from place to place, the James family began the Habitat homeowner application process in 2016. “Prior to applying for the program we had already started taking the necessary steps to purchase a home,” said James. “We attended the first-time homeowner workshop and gained all the knowledge we needed to successfully complete the process.”

With three children, two boys ages 12 and 7 and a girl age 5, Eartha explains that becoming a homeowner has affected her family in so many positive ways. “It has given us a sense of security, stability, togetherness and appreciation,” said James.

Each day, Eartha drives by to take a photo and document the progress of her family’s home. “My photo album will show our kids all the hard work that EVERYONE put into it and why we should take care of and appreciate our home,” said James. “Witnessing the transformation from a vacant lot to our future forever home is a blessing, it’s amazing, it’s a dream come true.”

The Jameses owe their good fortune to the trust established by the late Rosemary Duffy Larson. An Ohio native, Rosemary traveled the world extensively, but found her joy in Fort Lauderdale where she sought to enrich and improve the lives of our children, our families and our community through service and generous financial support. Rosemary was one of 300 women selected to participate in the “Women’s Role in Politics” conference at the White House, and she was dedicated to political and civic engagement causes in Broward County. Through her trust, Rosemary has helped support many causes throughout Broward County including the arts, education and, of course, affordable housing for Habitat families.