E. Ronald Durand Jr.

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E. Ronald Durand, Jr. September 9, 1936 - September 20, 2006 On September 20, 2006, Ron Durand lost his courageous battle with cancer and passed away at home surrounded by his family. Ron was born September 9, 1936 in Mineola, New York but spent the majority of his adult life in Rochester, NY. In 1997, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona and started a new business venture with Passport Health, a national network of independently owned-and-operated travel health and immunization clinics. The business has grown significantly over the past decade and now has offices in Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona; San Diego and Tustin, California and Stamford, Connecticut. Ron graduated from Aquinas Institute in Rochester, New York in 1955 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana in 1959. While at Notre Dame, he met his future wife, Elizabeth King, who attended St. Mary's College in South Bend, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1960. After graduating from Notre Dame, Ron volunteered for the United States Marine Corps and entered Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA and was subsequently selected for flight school. He completed his flight training at the U.S. Naval Air Training Command at Pensacola, Florida qualifying as a carrier pilot, flight instructor, helicopter flight instructor and instrument flight check pilot. While Ron was in flight training, Liz spent a year in Sao Paulo, Brazil, teaching and doing volunteer work. When she returned home she began her lifelong career as an artist, teacher and printmaker. Her work has received numerous awards from patrons and peers in national juried shows, her commissions are numerous and she is revered as one of the most talented printmakers on the East coast. Ron and Elizabeth were married in August of 1962 in Rochester, New York. They moved to Corona del Mar where he served at The Santa Ana Air Station/El Toro Air Base prior to beginning his tour of duty as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam (HMM361). During the war, he was highly decorated and flew countless rescue missions. His commendations include seven Air Medals, the National Defense Service Medal and the Presidential Service Badge. Based on his skill and bravery as a pilot, Ron was selected to serve as a pilot in the Executive Flight Detachment - HMX 1. In this capacity he provided air transportation and other classified helicopter support to the President of the United States and other designated personnel in the Executive Branch of the United States Government. During the Johnson Administration he flew Marine One, the Presidential Helicopter. Ron was proud of this service, proud to serve his nation and ever loyal to the Corps. Semper Fidelis. Upon retiring from the United States Marine Corps as a Captain, Ron enrolled in law school at the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1969. Ron and Liz returned to Rochester where they raised their three children, Catherine, Michael and Carolyn. He worked in the identification industry for many years where his company Macro Industries pioneered photo identification technology and processing. Ron later became the Director of the Rochester International Airport, which he brought through major restructuring, renovations and expansion as well as the hallmark landings of the Concorde and Air Force One. Throughout the years, his livelihood involved his love of flying. He piloted helicopters for the Rochester Police Department and the US Forest Service (as a volunteer) and tours over Niagara Falls. Ron was an honorable, kind and loving man with a tremendous sense of humor who cared deeply for his family and his friends, particularly those Marines he served with and honored throughout his life. In all he did, as a soldier, attorney, entrepreneur and volunteer he was known for his graciousness, warmth and wit. His many life-long relationships, from Blessed Sacrament Grade School to Aquinas Institute, Notre Dame University to the United States Marines, to friends at Earls, the Humphrey House and Ham's are a testimony to him as a loyal friend. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Ron is survived by Elizabeth King Durand and their children: Catherine Durand (Patrick Brawdy) and their two children, Clare and Joe, of St. Helena, California; Michael Durand (Ann Stephenson) and their daughter, Simone, of Seattle, Washington; and Carolyn Durand (Ben Champoux) of Nantucket, Massachusetts. He is also survived by his five brothers and sisters: Barbara Durand, of Phoenix, Dean Emerita of the College of Nursing at Arizona State University; Dennis Durand (Tatjana) of Mankato, Minnesota, retired teacher; Mike Durand (Pat), retired television executive; Mary Patricia Durand, a capital mitigation specialist and Jim Durand, a senior systems programmer at Arizona State University, all of Phoenix, Arizona. Calling hours will be on Tuesday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 48th Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix. A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, September 27th at 11 o'clock at St. Gregory's Church, 18th Avenue and Osborn Road. A separate memorial service will be held in Rochester, New York followed by interment at Arlington National Cemetery with military honors. Dates for both ceremonies are still to be determined by the family. Hospice of the Valley provided incredible care and attention during Ron's illness. He and his family would be grateful for any donations or other forms of support made to this extraordinary organization.

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Published in The Arizona Republic from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26, 2006
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