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Billy Covington DuRant, Colonel, U.S. Army retired, age 85, husband of Miriam Brown DuRant, 305 Beech Cove Road, Hartwell, GA, went to be with his Lord on April 7, 2014.
Colonel DuRant was born in Jacksonville, FL, June 12, 1928, to Linwood S. and Evelyn K. DuRant. He was adopted at birth by his grandparents, Linwood C. and Lizzie J. DuRant, and grew up in Waycross, GA, where he graduated from Waycross High School in 1945. While attending North Georgia College in Dahlonega, he worked during the summers for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in Waycross and Thomasville, GA. He graduated from North Georgia College in 1949 as a Distinguished Military Graduate and with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, Infantry Branch. He served 28 years of active duty rising through the ranks to Colonel and completed his military service at North Georgia College in 1977 as Professor of Military Science and Commandant of Cadets. His other military service included combat in Korea in 1950-51 and other overseas service in France, Vietnam, and again in Korea from 1973-74. He had command assignments at Fort Knox, KY; Fort Richardson, AK; and Fort Gordon, GA, as well as staff assignments at Fort Jackson, SC; Fort Benning, GA; Fort Monroe, VA; and Fort Leavenworth, KS. He was the recipient of the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service, the Army Commendation Medal (six awards), and other service citations. His military schooling included the Ground General School, the Infantry School, and the Command and General Staff College. He was awarded the Masters of Business Administration Degree jointly by Clemson University and Furman University in 1973. Upon retirement from the U.S. Army, he was an Instructor in Business Administration at Emmanuel College, Franklin Springs, GA, from 1977-1994.
Colonel DuRant was a charter member of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Hartwell, where he served as a Deacon, Sunday School Officer, and in the Sanctuary Choir. He also served terms as Moderator for the Hebron Baptist Association, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Christian Index (Georgia Baptist Convention newspaper).
Colonel DuRant is survived by his wife of 64 years, Miriam Brown DuRant, of Hartwell; by sons, Donald C. (wife Zoe) and Brian D. (wife Maureen) of Lawton, OK; and by grandsons, Zack (wife Stephanie and future great granddaughter Zofie) of Los Angeles, CA, and Colin of San Jose, CA.
Graveside services will be held at the Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, GA, at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, 2014, with full military honors.
Memorial services will be Friday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cornerstone Baptist Church, Hartwell.
The family requests that memorial gifts be made to Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1543 Anderson Hwy, Hartwell GA 306343
The Strickland Funeral Home of Hartwell is in charge of all arrangements. On-line condolences can be sent to the family at www.stricklandfh.com.
Joseph A. Strickland Funeral Homes
305 Cleveland Avenue Hartwell, GA 30643
Published in Anderson Independent-Mail from Apr. 9 to Apr. 10, 2014