Joseph E. Durand 1923-2012 Formerly of Richmond Ex Resident of Giant Village 1923-1942 Joseph passed away Oct. 27, 2012 at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Napa. Ernie (as us kids used to call him) all through those early care free years of growing up without T.V. or a computer to interfere with our playing ball games, kick the can, hide and seek, swimming in the Bay playing in the san or digging caves in the nearby cliffs. Our Dad's worked at the Atlas Powder Co. which allowed the families to live in the Giant Village made up of about 34 company owned homes and maintained by the Atlas Powerder Co. or Giant, as we knew it. Ernie attended the little two room giant school up to the 4th grade at which time it closed down, and we all went to Richmond schools, 5 miles away in our yellow bus. He worked at the Reem Mfg. Co. until the war broke out and he enlisted into the U.S. Navy Air Force and his unit was assigned to an aircraft carrier. Ernie was involved in some harrowing experiences while serving as a tail gunner for his country in WWII. Ernie's family lived in the Bay Area until they decided to move to a beautiful Mexican community at Lake Chapala and a golf course. Aster 35 years and due to some personal circumstances Ernie came back to the U.S. to live. Around the year 2006 he became a member of the Veterans Home of Calif., which in my opinion is the next thing to being a resort. Over the years Ernie's family grew up to 7 responsible middle (plus or minus) aged adults resulting in many lovable grandkids, and great grandkids. There will be a Memorial Service at St. Joseph Cemetery, San Pablo, on Sat. December 1st at 11am. This obituary was composed by Francis Bird, a life-time friend of Ernie except our separation between the times we both enlisted into the U.S. Navy and until we met and joined at the Vet. Home in yr. 2007. If any ex residents of the giant village read this obituary please reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org 707-945-0657
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Published in Contra Costa Times on Nov. 25, 2012