Durkin, John N.
John Nolen Durkin, beloved son of Liz and Tim Durkin, and loyal and devoted brother of Ted, Clare, Ginny and Trevor Durkin passed away suddenly in Rome, Italy on February 20, 2014.
John, a junior at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, was spending a semester studying in Italy with at Trinity College's Rome Campus.
John was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on October 19, 1992. At age three, John and his family moved from Portsmouth to Rye Beach where they spent the last eighteen years. John attended Rye Elementary and Rye Junior High Schools where he excelled academically, being selected as a Johns Hopkins recipient and attended a week long program in Washington DC. He enjoyed many long lasting friendships from his years in Rye and loved many teachers and staff who taught and mentored him. Outside of school John enjoyed everything the community offered in terms of sports. He played soccer for Rye Recreation and later with the Rye Soccer Association. He loved playing Rye Little League baseball and was for four years a shortstop on the Braves. In fifth grade John began playing football with the Portsmouth Youth Football Association eventually earning the MVP and Coaches Awards. John loved playing the game; he was analytical, calling the plays even in his early years. John spent summers swimming on swim teams and playing Rye Recreation basketball and Portsmouth Babe Ruth baseball. During seven of these summers John and his family were visited by their special friend Kendall from the Fresh Air Fund of New York City.
In ninth grade John enrolled at the Governor's Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts. There, John accumulated a large network of close friends, teammates, teachers and staff whom he admired, loved and who continued to be a part of his life. At the Academy, John was a conscientious student who not only focused on his own academic record but that of his close friends. He wrote for the school newspaper, sang in the choir and was a student proctor his senior year. John was a member of the varsity football and baseball teams. In football, John was a captain his senior year and was awarded MVP and was named "All ISL" and second team All New England.
John enrolled at Bates College, where he had been recruited to play football. The minute John stepped on the Bates campus he was smiling. He was majoring in Economics and had just completed a challenging semester. He was looking forward to studying abroad in Rome and traveling throughout Europe. John was the starting strong linebacker on the Bates Football Team.
During the past two summers, John worked for the Isles of Shoals Steamship Authority as a crew member on the M/V Thomas Leighton. John loved being on the water and the daily excursions to the islands. After work each day, John would work out with his college teammates, faithfully completing the designated daily workouts outlined by his coaching staff.
There are many words to describe John: faithful, kind, loyal, witty, disciplined, loving and competitive, none; however does justice to the great presence he has had in all of our lives. We have been blessed by him and will keep his memory alive.
In addition to his immediate family, John leaves his much loved grandmothers, Mary Nolen McGrath and Virginia Hewitt Durkin. He leaves his Aunt Kathy McGrath, Uncle Bryan McGrath, Uncle John McGrath and wife Barbara, Uncle Bill Durkin and wife Martha, Uncle Patrick Durkin and wife Kristen, Uncle Tom Durkin and wife Sue and Uncle Dan Durkin and wife Susan. John's father Tim grew up in Greenwich, CT and attended local schools through high school. The Durkin family has relatives and many friends in the area.
John was predeceased by his Grandfathers, William A. Durkin and John J. McGrath. In addition, he leaves many cousins. John is survived by his "immortal" dog Rex who he adored.
There will be calling hours at the Community Campus, Portsmouth New Hampshire, on March 6th from 4pm to 8pm. A funeral mass will be held at Saint Theresa Church, Rye Beach, New Hampshire on March 7th at 12 noon.
In memory of John, the Durkin, his family will establish the "John Nolen Durkin Scholarship Fund" at Bates College for deserving student athletes. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in memory of John and sent to Sarah Pearson, Bates College Advancement Office, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, Maine 04240. Gifts can also be made on-line at www.bates.edu/give
. Please note in the comments section that the gift should be directed to the John Nolen Durkin Scholarship Fund. For questions, please call Sarah's office at 207-786-6247.
Published by Greenwich Time on Mar. 4, 2014.