Gene Durkee, 83, passed away Friday, May 24, 2013. Funeral: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Biggers Funeral Home. Interment: Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. Visitation: 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Biggers Funeral Home. Gene Durkee was born April 12, 1930, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to Willard and Cecil Durkee. He graduated from Moore High School in 1948 where he was class salutatorian, class president, and was student council president. He lettered three years in football, baseball and basketball and married his childhood sweetheart whom he met in junior high. He and Billye have been married for over 60 years. Gene graduated with a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma where he was a member of the Engineers Club and Lambda Chi Alpha. Gene also received a master's certificate from UCLA
. Gene served as a member of the Oklahoma National Guard while attending college and also completed four years of ROTC receiving his second lieutenant's commission in the U.S. Air Force
. Gene went to work for Phillips Petroleum as a petroleum engineer upon graduating from OU and shortly thereafter, was called to active duty by the U.S. Air Force to serve during the Korean War
. Gene attended the Air Force Intelligence School at Lowery A.F.B. in Denver, Colo., and upon graduation, was assigned to the Strategic Air Command, 7th Bomb Wing headquarters, Carswell A.F.B., Fort Worth. Gene joined Moran Brothers, Inc., Wichita Falls, where he was promoted to vice president of drilling operations, which included the THUMS Island "A" project (drilling 300 wells from a 10-acre man-made island) located in Long Beach Harbor, Long Beach, Calif. He served as executive vice president of Western Oceanic and president of three international drilling companies, Peter Bawden Drilling of Calgary, including drilling the discovery well for Mobil/Phillips on the north slope of Alaska; Pool International & Beta Drilling of Houston, which included drilling operations both onshore and offshore in 32 different countries throughout North America, the North Sea, North Africa, Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Gene and Billye moved to Fort Worth in 1989 where he formed Energy Marketing and Drilling. Durkee was a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas for over 40 years and held numerous positions in the International Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, a member of the Young Presidents Organization of Southern California, the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists, Society of Petroleum Engineers, API and the IPAA. Survivors: Wife, Billye J. Durkee of Fort Worth; sons, Michael E. Durkee and wife, Tammy, of Arlington, Kenneth A. Durkee and wife, Barrie, of Fort Worth and James D. Durkee and wife, Phou, of Springtown; grandchildren, Jason, Justin, Amanda, Melissa and Sheila; great-grandchildren, Ryan and Jack.