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George Durand

July 5, 2019

George Durand, 87, of Grinnell, formerly of Newton, died Friday, July 5, 2019, at UnityPoint Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

A funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 10 at the Grinnell United Methodist Church. A luncheon will be held at the church following the service. Interment will be at Scotch Ridge Cemetery north of Indianola.

Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell and the family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m.

Memorials may be designated to the George Durand Memorial Fund, mailed in care of the Smith Funeral Home, P.O. Box 368, Grinnell, Iowa 50112. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family online at 

George Pilmer Durand, Jr, the son of George and Miriam (Howell) Durand, was born July 10, 1931 in Winterset. He had an older sister, Virginia. He was raised in Madison County in Patterson and graduated from Patterson High School in 1949 and Wentworth Military Academy in 1952.

On June 21, 1953, George was united in marriage with Darlene Bruett at the First United Methodist Church in Winterset and was blessed with three sons, Russell, Robert and Kenneth. The couple resided in Winterset for two years with George employed at Madison County PMA. They moved to St. Charles, in 1955 to farm the family farm. In 1959, they moved and farmed in Huxley. In January of 1964, George moved his family to Newton, where he was employed as parts manager for 32 years with Newton Implement and Grinnell Implement companies. He retired March 31, 1995. In October of 2008, George and Darlene moved to Seeland Park in Grinnell.

George was a member of the Patterson, Winterset, Newton and Grinnell Methodist churches, Newton Loyal Order of Moose 923, the St. Charles, Ames and Newton Square Dance clubs and the Iowa Barn Foundation. His favorite hobbies and pastimes were sports, polka and square dancing, traveling, reading, gardening and flowers and coaching his son’s baseball teams. He was always ready to challenge his sons, grandchildren or a family member in a game of cribbage or a card game of Pitch.

He cherished the time spent with his family. He will be remembered for his compassion and unconditional love. He was a dedicated and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and brother … and he loved you all.

After retiring, George and Darlene loved to travel and have seen the world. They have had many awesome tours and road trips of “God’s Natural Wonders and Beauty” taking them to all 50 United States, all seven continents, the Panama Canal, the Russian Waterways from St. Petersburg to Moscow and a three week trip to a “Tropical Paradise and World War II adventure” in the South Pacific Islands of Guam, Siapam, Yap, Truk and The Ulitha Atoll of Mog-Mog and Falalop and several cruises. They have traveled to all of Iowa’s 99 counties visiting all courthouses, Round Barns and many, many Iowa Barn Foundation barns in each county.

On Jan. 28, 1986, they witnessed and photographed the launching and tragedy of the Space Shuttle Challenger from the VIP viewing site at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Darlene wrote “We still remember the day clearly. The events leading up to the launch, the launch itself, the shock, the sadness we felt for days, the closeness we feel to the shuttle for being there that day. Time heals our pain ... but our memories remain.”

George leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife of 66 years, Darlene Durand of Grinnell; sons, Russell Durand of Luthersville, Ga., Robert (Jeri) of Grinnell and Kenneth (Barbara) of Kingman, Ariz.; six grandchildren, Lindsey (Michelle) Durand of Scottsdale, Ariz., Adam (Andrea) Durand of Phoenix, Ariz., Kimberly (Robert) Kirgis of Grinnell, Ashley (Tim) Hendricks of Woodstock, Ga., Ann Durand of Mobile, Ala., and Russell Durand Jr. of Houston, Texas; and six great-grandchildren, Brooke, Aiden, Ava and June Durand and Vavrek and Garrett Hendricks. Those relatives who have preceded him in death were his parents; sister, Virginia McNichols, brothers-in-law, Willard McNichols and Donald Alexander; daughter-in-law, Laura Durand; nephews, Robert Bruett and John McNichols; and father and mother-in law, Walter and Ruth Bruett.

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