JUAN (JOHN) JESUS DURAN, 93
December 26, 1927-September 6, 2021
Juan Duran was born in Rodarte, New Mexico on December 26, 1927 to Luis & Refugio Duran. His body returned to the earth and his spirit to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on September 6, 2021. He was just shy of 94.
Stella, his beloved wife of 72 years, their 5 children, 15 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren carry on his legacy of hard work, loving kindness, forgiveness, and humility. We will all miss him dearly but find some comfort in knowing he no longer suffers and is reunited with his family, and continues to protect and watch over us.
John entered the army after WWII to help keep the peace in Europe and served our country for 3 years. Those years, especially his time in Italy, stayed with him and he loved regaling us with comical stories about his army brothers and their European adventures. For his service, John earned an Army of Occupation Medal and a World War II Victory medal. He was honorably discharged from the army in April of 1949. He was a proud American and US Army Veteran, and he was thankful for the excellent health care he received from the Montana VA over the years.
After leaving the army, John returned to his family home near Taos, New Mexico. There, he reunited with Stella Sanchez, a lovely young woman he'd known since they were children. She worked at the Post Office and he made sure he had plenty of postal business so he could spend time with her. On August 3,1949 Juan and Stella Duran were married and this August they celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.
After the birth of their first child, the small family moved from New Mexico to Montana so that John could find work as a temporary contract miner for the Anaconda Company. That temporary work became full-time and gainful employment. John was able to work in every underground mine that Butte had to offer. He earned a good living and their small family quickly grew. After Gloria they welcomed John, and then Ruth, Susan, and Lori. They bought a house on Virginia Street and their children attended St. Mary's school.
Eventually they bought their forever home on Argyle Street near Clark's Park. This home has become the center of our family's universe. John and Stella welcomed everyone in times of plenty and during times of struggle. Their home is a refuge and a safe place to weather life's storms.
After retiring from the warehouse at the Berkeley Pit in the early 80s, John and Stella continued to raise and care for their children and their ever-increasing numbers of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. John was very proud of his family and aware of what a blessing it was to have 5 living generations in one family living mostly in or around Butte, Montana.
He was a wonderful storyteller and natural comedian with a seemingly bottomless reservoir of stories and jokes. He had a gift for learning and speaking languages, he spoke Spanish, French, Italian, and English. John, a proud and stylish man, came to Butte with 1 white shirt and 15 ties. He'd wear a shirt and tie to and from the mines and was known for his signature Fedoras and impeccable style.
He loved to camp, hunt, and fish in Apex at "Waltons Mountain". He taught many of us all we know about the outdoors. He loved Louis L'Amour novels, watching old Westerns, tinkering around the yard, and repurposing found items in his one-of-a-kind tool shed. He enjoyed morning walks, sitting quietly in the park, attending Mass, and dessert, especially a homemade slice of pie. Mostly, he loved his family, here and gone, and sometimes spoke of the joy of seeing his parents and siblings on the other side. One day we all will meet again, until then, you'll live through us and our memories. Vaya con Dios mi amor, La Familia.
John is survived by the love of his life, Stella; their five children, Gloria (and Bob) Baide, John (and Vicki) Duran, Rufina (and the late Dennis) Morrow, Susan (and Bud) Washburn, and Lori Duran; their 15 grandchildren, Suzy, Tammie, Chad, Angie, Bob, Linda (and Robb), Johnny, Jamus, Josh, Billy, Sara, Christina, Martha, Anna, and Mikey; their 28 great grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Trebor, Karly, Allyson, Daij, Billy, Myles, Jennaveve, Emma, Morgan, Brysynn, Maci, Bryce, Torsten, Iyezk, Zain, Leila, Lyric, Ziggy, Oliver, Audra, Sophia, Otto, Steven, Lakelynn, Britannia, Remee, LilyAnn; and two great great grandchildren, Christina and Nathan.
We will celebrate John's life-well-lived at Fort Harrison on September 17, 2021 at 1pm with a full military service. Reception will follow at the Butte Comfort Inn in the Montana Room. Express condolences at www.wayrynen-richards.com.