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DURAND, Donald C. 1958-2018


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 3/16/2019 at 08:41:47

Donald (Don) Charles Durand, age 60, passed away at his home in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. His death marked the end of a life that included a six-year battle with multiple cancers. Don was born May 3, 1958, in Des Moines, to Francis Jerold and Judith Ann (Bearbower) Durand. Don spent his early childhood in Davenport. Don remained lifelong friends with the kids from Iowa Street. Don’s love of fishing started with early morning outings with his dad, including one adventure where they were lost for a week in Canada. His affection for ice cream started on Iowa Street.

At the age of 9, Don moved with his family to a small acreage in Durant. Don enjoyed getting to run a riding lawn mower and playing with his malamute husky, Pete. In 1968, when Don was 10, his life was altered after a tragic auto accident claimed the life of his father.

Don moved with his family to Ames, after his mother married Robert (Bob) G. Bierkamp in 1971. He again made lifelong friends. Don experienced a period of depression and rebellion that took him to the Eldora Boys Training School. When Don’s family moved to Creston, Don chose to participate in foster care. Don knew he was fortunate when Darrell and Merna Johnson became his foster parents. Don left the training school and the Johnson’s introduced him to farm life. This relationship continued his entire life.

Don attended Wellsburg High School, graduating in 1977.

A brief marriage in 1977 to Rhonda Nederhoff ended in divorce in 1979. A series of bad choices fueled by alcohol led Don to spend time in Anamosa State Prison. After release, he relocated to Cedar Rapids. Don volunteered at a crisis hotline and met Paula (Polly) Kaye Binger. They married in 1986 and had a daughter Alexandra (Ali) Durand. They divorced in 1991.

Don again experienced severe depression that included 10 years of heavy drinking. Don credited his mother for getting him to treatment in 2000, where he was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous. Don found a passion in himself and dedicated the remainder of his life to helping other alcoholics. Don celebrated each day of 18 sober years. Don developed an appreciation for art, especially Iowa Regionalism. Don followed politics – while never active, he always had an opinion!

In 2013, Don married Rebecca (Becky) L. Cowger. Becky’s daughter, Jennifer (Aaron) Smith, and their two daughters, Jada and Aja, were a blessing to Don. In recent years, Don was fortunate to reestablish dialogue with his daughter Ali. Don was a beaming “Grandpa” to triplets, Kaiden, Kaine and Arizona.

Don had a 31 year over-the-road and local trucking career that he loved. He ultimately fulfilled his lifelong dream of being an independent owner/operator of Durand Cartage Co. His motto was “Step with Purpose.” When his cancer took him off the road, he became an administrator in two Facebook social media groups for long-distance truck drivers, “The Drive” and “Truckers Getting Things Done,” which kept him in contact with the drivers worldwide. He was honored with a nationwide Light ‘Em Up memorial Sept. 10-12.

Don’s family asks that in memory of Don, please donate funds to pay for a child’s lunch, go drown a worm with a kid who loves to be outdoors or listen to a child talk to you while they eat an ice cream cone, nothing could honor him more.

He was preceded in death by his father Francis Jerold (Jerry) Durand; mother Judith Bearbower Durand Bierkamp; paternal grandparents, Charles H. and Florence J. (Schutte) Durand; uncles and aunts, William C. Durand, Charles (“hunkie” Charlie) (Dode) Durand, Lorraine Emma “Dewey” (Jack) Callahan and Alice Elizabeth “Betty” (Walter) Sample; maternal grandparents, Donald P. Bearbower, Vivian Mae Phillips Bearbower Lepper Andresen Stevens and “Grandpa” Elmer Lepper; sister Julia Lynn Durand; niece Ressie Holbrook; nephew Murphy Francis Fry and great-nephew Fox Warner.

Don is survived by his wife Becky; his daughter Ali (Jessica) Durand; grandchildren, Kaiden, Kaine and Arizona Durand; “bonus” daughter Jennifer (Aaron) Smith; granddaughters, Jada and Aja; sisters, Ruth (Craig) Bolinger, Susan (Steven) Basler, Ann Lisk, Nancy (Tim) Loudon, Mary Manley and Kristina (Eric) Nurnberg; nieces and nephews, Jason (Laura) Green, Jack Durand, Kevin (Rachel) Basler, Kari (Tim) Wiese, Kelli (Mark) Riley, Jesse (Chasity) Bolinger, Bailey (Blake) Fry-Schnormeier, Krickett (Mike) James-Cocayne, Abigail Warner, Rachel (Paul) Lisk-Podvalnyy, Addy (Robert) Sinclair, Eli Loudon and Maya and Chase Nurnberg; stepfather Robert G. (Annette) Bierkamp; maternal uncle Phillip (Bonnie) Bearbower; paternal aunt Ruth M. (Donald) Bradley and foster parents, Darrell and Merna Johnson, and their daughters, Kris, Kendra and Koreen.

He enjoyed conversations through Facebook with friends and his Durand, Sample and Bearbower cousins. He especially enjoyed visiting with his cousin John Callahan.

Don’s family is grateful to his dear friend, Rob Cook, who coordinated a celebration of life that occurred Sept. 15 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Marion. One of Don’s final wishes to donate his body to the University of Iowa could not be met, partially due to his love of ice cream – he was 40 pounds over the weight limit. Don’s cremains will be placed near his sister’s and mother’s graves at Morgan Cemetery in Kent in a private ceremony at a future date.

--Creston News Advertiser (www.crestonnews.com)


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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