Gerald L. Durnell
Gerald L. Durnell, 69, died Monday evening, May 23, 2011, after a courageous bout with cancer. He was the husband of Kaye Bowles-Durnell.
Gerry was born April 27, 1942 in Santa Paula, California. He was a graduate of Southwest Missouri University in Springfield, MO. He worked his way through college as a rock and roll DJ, a TV cameraman, and as an announcer for the Ozark Jubilee.
During the Vietnam War, while serving as a U.S. Army captain, he flew more than 180 reconnaissance missions before his plane was hit by a SAM missile.
Upon his return to Springfield, he served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives.
He moved to Santa Claus, Indiana to be creative director for Abby Press, then went into the pizza business. That experience gave him the inspiration to found Pizza Today magazine and the international trade show, Pizza Expo, in 1984. After he moved to Louisville in 1992, he and his wife, Kaye, built this into the world's most expensive food trade show, then sold the company to Sterling MacFadden Publishing.
Gerry's next ventures were the purchase of the magazine, Automobile Quarterly, and the development of oceanfront land in Sayulita, Mexico, a small fishing village north of Puerto Vallarta, and the more recent purchases of Automobile Events magazine and John Galt Bindery.
A multi-dimensional thinker, his college majors were pre-med and fine art. As an entrepreneur, publisher, inventor, tinkerer, writer, and voracious reader, he was most happy when off on a new venture, such as a recently started development in Curitiba, Brazil, or when recharging at Villa del Oso (House of the Bear) their Mexico home.
Gerry is also survived by his three children, Meranie Skari (Dan), John C. Durnell (Rona), and Amber Katherine Storm (Jeff) and seven grandchildren, Joshua Durnell, Tayleur Durnell, Christian Skari, Tristan Durnell, Brooke Durnell, Miriam Skari, and Abigail Storm.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Homer and Lucille Van Hoosier Durnell, his brother Jack, and his nephew Dustin.
A celebration of Gerry's life will be held at the Pendennis Club, 218 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. at 4:00 P.M. , Wednesday, June 1.
Memorial gifts made be made to the Heuser Hearing Institute or the American Saddlebred Museum.
Published by News-Leader on May 27, 2011.