1948 - 2013
Robin Geoffrey Durnin from Long Beach, CA and resident of Kaneohe, HI passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on March 8, 2013, while visiting his son in Arcata, CA. He was sincerely devoted to his family, his students and his professional goals. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Herring, their son, William Lee Durnin (Arcata, CA); sisters, Janet Caroline Seiter (Long Beach) and Mary Anne Quigley (Twisp-Carlton, WA); brothers, Charles William Durnin, M.D. and "Shawn" John Guyton Durnin (both of Long Beach) and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Mary Jane Guyton Durnin and William George Durnin, M.D. Through his life's work as classroom teacher, coach, lifeguard, first responder and teacher educator, Robin demonstrated his deep concern for others. He was interested in meeting the educational needs of children, youth and aspiring teachers. He was most proud of his students' accomplishments in a statewide mathematics competition called "Math Counts," a program he coached during much of his teaching career at Kamehameha Schools. Robin graduated from Long Beach Wilson High School and Claremont Men's College and served as a surgical nurse in the US Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Later he obtained advanced degrees in education from California State University Long Beach, Pepperdine University and Claremont Graduate School. Robin was a highly skilled athlete in water sports. In his youth he set national swim records and was recognized as "All City" and "All America" in swimming and water polo. Many sailors remember Robin as an outstanding class boat competitor who placed in local, regional and national events. He also crewed in big boat sailing regattas throughout the globe. He paddled for Waikiki Yacht Club in the masters' division in six-man outrigger canoes and worked out with the Lanikai Canoe Club Sunrise Crew. He enjoyed playing golf with his friends in California and Hawaii. While he was a teenager, Robin sailed with his father from Long Beach to Honolulu in the Trans Pacific Yacht Race. This event impacted the rest of Robin's life; he decided to make Hawaii his home. After discharge from the Army he enlisted in the US Coast Guard Reserves and served with the Captain of Honolulu Harbor. During his career as a professional educator, Robin impacted many young lives as a much-admired coach of the water sports he enjoyed -swimming, sailing, body surfing, water polo and paddling. He was a sailing coach at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and water polo coach and classroom teacher at Iolani School and at Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate. He volunteered as an assistant to the water polo coaches at Le Jardin Academy. Robin also worked in teacher education at Claremont Graduate School, Chaminade University and University of Hawaii at Manoa. During the summers between his years of teaching and coaching, he served as a Long Beach Lifeguard for over 40 years. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, April 7, at 3:00 pm, at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach, CA. A celebration of life will also be held in Honolulu during the summer. Donations in memory of Robin G. Durnin may be made to one of the following organizations dedicated to promoting marine safety and sailing for young people: Friends of Long Beach Firefighters Junior Lifeguard Program, c/o Marisa Carino, 3205 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90808 (562-570-2535); Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program,7201 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90803 (562-434-9955); and the Hawaii Sailing Foundation, P.O. Box 1116, Honolulu, HI 96807 (808-534-7321). Please sign the guest book at www.presstelegram.com/obituaries.
Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on Mar. 22, 2013