Maurice Lafayette Durkee
A man moved by and attentive to the Holy Spirit in his own life, in the joy and suffering of others and in the land he loved, Maurice bore and shared the fruits of reconciliation, wisdom, gentleness, kindness, humor, generosity, compassion, grit, dignity and stillness. He was a man observant of both surfaces and depths in the people and world around him.
He loved and was loved by Norma Mildred Speers (d. October 2013) in a 72 year marriage that embraced and served family, friends and community.
He deeply loved his children who accompanied him in his final journey--son Alan (Karen) of East Lansing; daughters Marilyn (Larry d. 2003) of Detroit and Adele (Gordon) of Peterborough, Ontario. Maurice held in his heart his grandchildren, their gifts, accomplishments and loved ones: Aaron (Vonda), Jarrod (Sara), Alycia (Josh), Erica (John), Rachelle (Scott), Elisabeth (Rick) and Jessica (Matt). His great-grandchildren Madison, Adan and Ella delighted him. Born to Raymond d'Eston and Cora Ethel Durkee in the Rowley Wesleyan Methodist parsonage, Locke Township, Maurice subsequently lived in Brighton, Lansing and, again, Locke Township. In 1936 he graduated from Williamston High School. He was the last surviving child among seven children—Verdon (d. 1924), Colon (d. 1917), Eldon, Willard, Maurice, Lucille and Sherwood.
For thirty years Maurice owned and worked a mixed crop and dairy farm. He made maple syrup, hunted and trapped for furs. He was Locke Township supervisor in the 1950s, chaired the Ingham County Board of Supervisors, the first Board of Directors of Ingham Medical Hospital, the Rowley School Board, and served on the Houghton College (New York) Board of Trustees. After a farming accident, Maurice became a teller at Williamston's People's State Bank, then opened its Meridian branch as manager. His wisdom and spirit were valued by those who worked with him and those whom he served.
As retirees for thirty years in Palmetto, Florida, Maurice and Norma welcomed family, new and old friends into their home and travelled globally. Maurice served as chair of the Board of Directors of Skyway Village.
At Rowley Wesleyan Church Maurice served in lay leadership positions and led worship and music. He believed he needed to come to worship with a song and scripture in his heart and, to the end, sang the songs the Spirit gave him.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday March 15, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at Rowley Wesleyan Church, 3720 Rowley Rd. Williamston with Pastor Les Kephart officiating. The family will receive friends Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, 205 E. Middle St, Williamston and one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made in Maurice's memory to the Rowley Wesleyan Church Building Fund, 3720 Rowley Rd, Williamston, MI 48895 or to Gideons International, 3500 Karen Street, Lansing, MI 48911.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.grwilliamston.com