LEONARD E. DURHAM

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DURHAM LEONARD E. DURHAM Leonard "Len" E. Durham, age 87, Madison, WI/Fairfax, VA passed away in his sleep on Monday, October 22, 2012 having lived a life filled with travel, family, friends, and dessert. Len was born on December 4, 1924 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Near the end of WWII, Len joined the U.S. Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet. Recently Len and his grandson, Lincoln, enjoyed being a part of the Badger Honor Flight to Washington, DC honoring WWII veterans. After the war, Len attended the University of Nebraska, graduating with a Business Administration degree in 1949. He remained an avid Cornhusker throughout his life. In 1946, while visiting a friend at Lincoln General Hospital, he met and subsequently married nursing student Cindy Renken on May 23 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this year. Len enjoyed a long and successful career of government service for the U.S. intelligence community. In 1951, Len re-entered the military as a counterintelligence Officer for the Office of Special Investigations with the U.S. Air Force. He served tours of duty all over the world, including Japan, France, and Viet Nam and completed training at the French Language School, National Cryptologic School and the Air War College. In 1963, Len was made an Honorary Gendarme by his French colleagues. Len was also recognized by the Commander of the Air Force for his assistance in a counterintelligence mission that played a significant role in the neutralization of the threats posed by hostile intelligence services. In 1967, Len served as the Senior Deception Planner at the Air Force Headquarters in the Pentagon where he established the curriculum for the Air Force Deception Planners School. Later he was the senior deception planner for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of the CIA. He authored policy decision papers on intelligence matters and acted as the liaison officer for various intelligence agencies including the Departments of State and Defense, Army, Navy, Air Force, DIA and NSC. He most enjoyed making training films on the use of deception in battlefield tactics with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne. Len never stopped working and after leaving the CIA, he served as a consultant on the FBI Fingerprint Identification System and conducted background investigations for Top Secret Security Clearances. In 2007, Len and Cindy moved to Madison, WI to be closer to his son; daughter-in-law and his grandchildren. He served faithfully at Quarra Stone Company as the company ambassador and enjoyed his many friendships there. Len was grateful to the physicians and wonderful staff at Meriter Hospital who gave him and his family five extra years to enjoy. Len served as a Ruling Elder at the Providence Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, VA and was President of the Chesapeake Region Rolls Royce Club. During his time in Madison he was active in the Nolen Shores Condo Association and faithfully attended Edgewood High School sporting events. Len was a principled, gregarious, inspirational and charming man who had many talents and many lifelong friends including the Dudley Street Bulldogs from his childhood neighborhood. He believed that people should continually seek knowledge and develop their capabilities as much as possible and he lived his entire life according to these principles. Len was an accomplished woodworker, electrician, mechanic and joke teller. He enjoyed owning and working on vintage cars, including a 1966 Mustang he fully restored, a 1952 Bentley Mach VI and a 1976 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. He was also a connoisseur of French cuisine (escargots and kir) and all desserts. Len never met a stranger and his warmth, kind heart and great sense of humor will be missed. Len is survived by his wife Cindy, his three children, Kay Durham of Portland, Oregon, James (Cathy) Durham, of Madison, Wisconsin, and Ann Durham of Seattle, Washington and six grandchildren Ashley, Nathan, Drake, Aleah, Lincoln and Renna and two great-grandchildren, Rowan and Anna. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Harley, Ralph and Delzon and sister, Barbara. Len will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorials in Leonard's name are suggested to PAWS, in memory of Dee Cee; and Military Charities or Christ Presbyterian Church, in Madison, WI. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road, Madison 608-238-3434 Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.comwww.cressfuneralservice.com

Published in The Washington Post on Oct. 26, 2012
bullet Air Force bullet Army bullet WWII
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