February 12, 1926 – August 21, 2011
At last … together again. On August 21, 2011, Russ Durant joined his beloved Bea.
Russ was born February 12, 1926 in Edmonton. He would often say two great men were born that day – Abraham Lincoln and Russ Durant. His father died at an early age of an illness contracted during World War I. Several years later, his mother, Jessie, re-married. Russ spent his early childhood in Lethbridge, where his stepfather, Geoffrey Blake, was warden at the penitentiary. They moved to Calgary later and Russ attended Western Canada High School. There he met, and later married, the love of his life, Mary Beatrice Gibbons. They were married for forty-eight years prior to Bea’s passing in 1997. Russ is survived by their children Marjie (Randy) Ottenbreit, Ron (Fran) Durant, Kathy (Wilf) Wietgrefe, Marilyn Durant, and Doug Durant. In 1980, he was delighted to unite with their daughter Jill (Gord) Cavanagh and granddaughters, Kelly and Jamie. He was very proud of his Irish heritage. Through the years, he always had a dog at his side and dog biscuits in his pocket. Russ was known for his quick wit. You knew he loved you if he teased you. And he teased many, including Joanne Kirk, Casey Vandenboer, nieces, Jan Ford (Tom) and Nancy Speca and especially his grandchildren, Lee (Kristine), Michelle (Daniel), Jon, Kelly, Jeremy, Michael, and Jessica. Russ and Bea had a large circle of friends, many of whom he met during his thirty-seven years with Macdonalds Consolidated. They loved entertaining, listening to big band music and watching classic movies. He loved the “Rat Pack” – Frank, Dean and Sammy – and his Hollywood hero was John Wayne.
A private graveside ceremony will be held for family and friends at Eden Brook Memorial Gardens. Donations in memory of Russ can be sent to Pound Rescue, Box 17, Site 1, RR1, DeWinton, AB T0L 0X0. You may forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. A special thank you to Russ’ neighbour Arlene Hewer for the care and support she provided him during his final years at home. While his last year presented many challenges, Russ faced them with grace and dignity – never complaining. Thank-you to Deborah for her warm heart while Russ was in Southwood Care Centre and to Southwood’s Hospice staff for the phenomenal care they provided in his final days.
May the road rise up to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face
and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
– Irish Blessing
In living memory of Russ Durant, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Airdrie Funeral Home, 300 TOWERLANE DRIVE, AIRDRIE. Telephone: (403) 948-1100.Print This Obituary & Condolences