William Charles Durr passed away peacefully on September 25, 2019 with his family at his side. He was 74½ years old, to the day. Bill was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Charles and Agnes (Palmer) Durr on March 25, 1945. Upon graduation from Whitefish Bay High School, he made his way across the great lake Michigan and attended Grand Rapids Community College in an effort to get a shot at playing football for coach Duffy Daugherty at Michigan State University, which he indeed did do… if only for a brief period. Despite an early exit from MSU, Bill went on to receive a degree in Secondary Education from Grand Valley State College, and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Administration from Western Michigan University. In 1966, he married his love, Janet (Anderson) Durr. Together they raised three children, worked like crazy and created a comfortable life for the family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Upon retirement from Ravenna High School in 2007, Bill enjoyed his golden years in a variety of ways: from winters in Florida to small, out-board engine repair. Fishing and wishing (for a nibble…just a nibble please), or just “puttering” around the house. He hung with his family, had hot-dogs with Ken, driveway chats with the Bickerson’s and golden gloves with the boys. He was our #1 handyman, our “busy-boy,” and he could fix just about anything. Bill was a life-long Green Bay Packer fan, who was gifted a one-share ownership of the team back in 1997. That certificate is proudly displayed on his office wall. And he remained a devoted Spartan to the end… GO GREEN!
Bill and Jan hosted the annual Christmas Eve Open house, welcoming a potpourri of family and friends into their home, a tradition that carried on for many years. He cherished any time he could spend with those who meant the world to him. A gentle-giant, he was soft-spoken and most humble, with a great sense of humor and a big laugh. He had that superb gift of listening and was kind to all who crossed his path. He was an educator, an athlete, a coach, an entrepreneur, a sports fan, music lover, talk-radio listener, collector of ball caps, Chapstick hoarder and clip-board carrier. Bill would tell you that he wanted for nothing and had everything he needed, and that his greatest accomplishments were his wife, children and grandchildren. He proved that in the way he lived his life, each and every day. Despite his failing health, he faced the struggle head-on, without complaint or self-pity. He was our gallant fighter until the very end. We will miss our best husband, father, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend. Indeed, he is our Superman!
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his mother in-law and father in-law, Robert and Miriam Anderson. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 53 years, Janet. Children: Daniel (Kellie) Durr, Deanna (Steve) Lautner and Darcey (Roger) Thompson. Grandchildren: Matthew and Joseph Durr and Margaret and William Thompson. His sisters, Alice Corwine and Frances Durr, both of Naples, Florida. His brothers and sisters-in-law, Thomas (Jill) Anderson, Barbara Van Haren, Mary (Chris) Banner and John (Linda) Anderson. Numerous nieces & nephews and their children, and countless friends that he has treasured over the years. The family would like to thank the stellar staff at Mercy Health St. Mary’s for their expert care and compassion given to Bill these last few weeks, and to his great team of medical professionals including, Dr. James Passinault, Dr. Robert Rood, Dr. Navneet Mander and Dr. Michael Meyers.
Please join the family for a celebration of life on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 4291 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546. Visitation from 3-6 P.M. with a memorial service to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bill’s name to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, or Mercy Health St. Mary’s of Grand Rapids.
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Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Great Lakes Chapter
4595 Broadmoor Ave SE Ste 230, Grand Rapids MI 49512
Mercy Health St. Mary's
200 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49503