William "Bill" Harry Durham, 75, passed away on December 23, 2018 at the VA Hospital in Gainesville, FL. William was born September 7, 1943 in Crofton, KY to William H. Durham & Laura Barnard. The 2nd of three children, William Sr. passed away when Bill turned 4 years old. The family eventually moved to Illinois and then onto New York where he spent his teen years. He joined the Navy in 1960 where he learned construction as a SeaBee, serving with The USN MCB Seven. He was stationed on Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban missile crises, as well as several other countries. He was honorably discharged as an E5 in 1964 & joined his family in Indiana. There he married Lynn Mosier in 1965 & the couple had three children; William John, Michiel Anthony and Angela Michelle before divorcing in 1972. He later married Charlotte Barley in Ohio and they had 1 son, James Matthew before divorcing in 1975. In 1976 he met Luanna Walczak and they were married in 1978 and remained happily so until his death. They had a son together, Jordan Gray who was born in Louisiana where they resided for a few years. After being released from the Navy, Bill became a union Ironworker and remained one for 50+ years until his retirement in 2004. Ironworking was not only a job but a passion for him. He often "boomed out" as the traveling involved agreed with his gypsy spirit. There are many buildings and bridges that will stand for hundreds of years as a testament to his skills and that of his brotherhood. He was proud to have worked on The John Hancock building in Chicago and as a connector was known as one of the best!
The family settled down in Wisconsin from 1980 to 1999, raising their son in the country, as well as chickens and various other animals as a hobby and always had a large garden. When the job market crashed in the early 80's, he ran an autobody shop for a while until work picked up and he transferred into I. W. Local 383. They moved to Florida in 1999, where he was able to work in various cities, until his retirement and these years were the happiest in his career. The highlight for Bill was working at Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center and Patrick Air Force Base.
He continued to work hard and play hard after his retirement. When Bill had a vision he could work relentlessly to make his dream come about. He remodeled his home, and liked to build things or paint vehicles as a hobby. He was good at just about anything he put his mind to. He enjoyed music concerts, NASCAR, boating and fishing. He was also a member of the American Legion all his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Laura, as well as his step father Louis Hartwick, his son William John, two sisters, Laurie Hartwick Becker and Mary (Joe) Olsen. He is survived by his wife Luanna, three sons, Michiel, James and Jordan and daughter Angela, one sister Cherie (Guy) Surprise, and one brother, Eddie (Helen) Durham. He left behind 5 grandchildren and one great grandchild, as well as several beloved nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Bill was deeply loved and is greatly missed by those who knew him. He lives on in our hearts and in the eternal arms of God.
Published in Citrus County Chronicle on Sep. 7, 2020.