Photo courtesy of Palmer Bush & Jensen Family Funeral Homes - Lansing Chapel

Kathy Jo Durling

Lansing, Michigan

Sep 2, 1950 – Dec 1, 2021 (Age 71)


September 2, 1950
December 1, 2021
Lansing, Michigan


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Palmer Bush & Jensen Family Funeral Homes - Lansing Chapel Obituary

Kathy Jo Durling (71) was welcomed into heaven on Dec 1. Her husband and daughters were present with her as she was ushered into God’s loving presence.

She is preceded in death by her Mother (Carol) Father (Adrian) and two younger brothers (Doug & Scott). She is survived by her husband Jim of 48 years. Daughters Danae, Tiana (Sterling), Marissa (Jake), Shandra (Carey). Her grandchildren Jaxson, Peyton, Addison, Camille and Bailey. Along with her two sisters Judy & Jodie. Along with many extended family members. 

Her college career included time at Grand Rapids Bible College (Cornerstone University) and MSU. From teaching at  Lansing Christian school to Sandusky Middle school many students were impacted by her. She continued in her compassionate efforts by working at Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids along with time at City Rescue Mission in Lansing. She would say that her work at the CRM was one of the many highlights of her career. 

She and her husband served as house parents at Teen Ranch in Marlette for the first four years of their marriage. This led to them fostering four young men for several years. 

Those that knew Kathy might use words like: Mentor, Baker, Prayer Warrior, Teacher, Comforter, Volunteer, Advocate, Homemaker, Storyteller, Friend, Loyal, Provider and most importantly a Follower of Jesus, when describing her. 

From preparing a meal, talking on the phone, sending thank-you notes to her recent Facebook posts, she loved connecting with people. She would meet you where you were, but would gently and lovingly encourage you towards a strong, bold relationship with Jesus.

Whether you were in her classroom, a part of her Bible study, in her Sunday school room or played a part in one of her church productions, she loved helping others grow in their faith.

Securing housing for single mothers, serving Thanksgiving meals, helping ladies get their GED, and providing literacy support were some of the ways she advocated for others. 

Her heart was to ALWAYS point people to Jesus. This was made abundantly clear in her final post on Facebook. She would want each of you to not only know about God, but to choose to obey Him and live a life honoring Him.

These are her final words to us:

“I am ready to see Jesus, are you? I would love to see all of you there. I committed my life to God as a young child, and by strong biblical teaching, godly friends, the Holy Spirit, I have wanted to live for Him my whole life. Did I still sin, sure did -some awful hurtful things that I am ashamed of. But Jesus died for all those sins and has set us free.”

Proverbs 31:25-26

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” 

If you would like to join us in celebrating her life we will be gathering at Holt Baptist Church in Holt MI. Saturday Dec. 11th. Visitation will be from 2pm-4pm. The Celebration of Life Service will begin at 4pm. Our hope is that this is a true celebration of life, so come wearing something colorful (Kathy loved bright, vibrant colors) we will also be serving a sweet treat (she loved sharing baked goods).

A family friend created a Go Fund Me page to help the family meet some immediate financial needs. Please hear our hearts, there is no pressure to give. We only wanted to provide an easy tangible way for you to step in and support, if you are so lead.

Kathy was also very passionate about children having God’s word in their hands. Any cash gifts will go towards providing Bibles to the children that come through the City Rescue Mission of Lansing.

May her legacy live on in all of us!

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Guest Book

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I met Kathy when she attended the Thursday morning Women2Day Bible study it didn’t take us long to see her heart for Christ, reaching out to those in spiritual and physical need, and her wisdom. Soon, she was a table leader, and I was blessed to serve alongside her, and be witness to her wise guiding of the women at her table. I loved her smile, and the fact that Jesus’s light and love clearly shown through her. She was also an excellent cook and baker, and generous with her time and...

Kathy guided me back to the Lord and saved a sinners life many times. She was my teacher, mentor, councillor, Sister in Christ. Thanks to Kathy I have my family back again.

I met Kathy several years ago, both of us Bible Study table leaders. I loved praying with her before hand, collaborating with her on needs we saw in others over the years, talking the Word: she was a gentle giant, wise and so full of love for others. Though I know her eternal journey is now in the presence of her Lord, I am heartbroken for your loss. Praying for your precious family, Ingrid Winsett

I am so sorry for your loss. Kathy was a wonderful, strong Christian woman. My thoughts and prayers are with those who love and will miss her.

I’m in shock and saddened to hear of Kathy’s death. She was a good friend of mine. We’d meet for lunch and share each other’s happiness, sadness and love of Jesus. She had such love for her family and friends! She enjoyed her job working with women and children. She must have completed her task here on earth for God! I know she’s enjoying Jesus in Heaven. Sure will miss Kathy and our pray time together. May the peace of Christ help her family through such a loss. In Christ name, Amen

We met Kathy at GR Baptist College (Cornerstone University) in 1968. She was always fun to be around and had an infectious smile and laugh. We met Kathy and Jim again years later at Calvary Baptist Church in GR. She still had her beautiful smile, positive attitude and loved serving Jesus. She has left a tremendous legacy that has honored her Lord and blessed all who knew her. Kathy will be greatly missed!

Andy and I have wonderful memories of Kathy. She was our neighbor in Marlene for a few years and was always an encouragement and wonderful babysitter. We will see her again!

It was our joy to work with Kathy and Jim at teen ranch. We will be praying for you all. She was a very special lady and we know that we will see her again because of her faith in Jesus.