|He was born August 15th, 1925 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Veron and
Almeda (Westbrook) Durkee.
He leaves behind his wife Helen Jean (Bolter) Durkee, to whom he was
married 68 years, his daughter Susan (Gregory) Middlemis, sons Gerard
(Jenny), Mark (Elytta), Donald (Cyndi), Philip (Sue), Douglas, John
(Landy), Robert (Marietta) and Christopher (Lilianna), daughter-in-law
Mary Durkee, grandchildren John Middlemis, Rebecca (Travis) Leonard,
Alisha (Kenny) Giles, Emily Durkee, Andrea Durkee, Paul (MacCartney)
Durkee, Jacob Durkee, Maria (Arvid) Callas, Monica Durkee, Kate
(Ryan) Huttenga, Elie (David) Roberts, Erin Durkee, David (Emily)
Durkee, Stephen Durkee, Holly (William) Kammel, Ryan Durkee, Jennifer
Durkee, Helen Durkee and Christopher Durkee. There are also 11 great
Garry was a sports enthusiast, running the mile and half mile for Grand
Rapids Central High School. In 1943 he was an All State track runner in
the half mile. He also played football for Central and was an All City
guard. He served as a proud Marine in WWII. After the war, while still in
the Marines, Garry played on a marine corps football team that traveled
the South Pacific Islands, playing other servicemen teams. The team he
played on won the championship. Each member of the team was personally
given an award by Admiral Nimitz.
Garry was an active member at Holy Family Catholic Church in
Caledonia, Michigan where he served as a lector and in many other
volunteer positions. In the community he did volunteer work with the Boy
Scouts, 4-H, Little League, was a member of the Lion's Club and
American Legion, as well as being on the Caledonia School Board.
After retiring from the Consumers Power Company, he and his wife Jean
relocated to Minneola, Florida, where they became members of Blessed
Sacrament Catholic Church in Clermont. He enjoyed playing on a local
shuffleboard league and spent many hours working in his garden. Visits
from the family were always a highlight.
Garry lived his life as a shining example for all of his children to his very
last breath. He would admit that it was sometimes difficult raising nine
children, but would also say that those nine children and his Jean made him
feel like the richest man in the world.
Visitation will be held at Becker Funeral Home, 806 W. Minneola Ave.,
Clermont, Flordia 34711, from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Monday May 8,
The funeral took place at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at Blessed
Sacrament Catholic Church, 720 12th St. Clermont, Florida 34711.
Garry will be laid to rest at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Operation Patriot, PO Box
2443, Brandon, FL 33509 for direct donations to the Baldomero Lopez
State Veterans Nursing Home or to the Caledonian American Legion, Post
305, 9548 Cherry Valley Ave SE, Caledonia, MI 49316.