James Durkel

Male 1956 - 2012  (56 years)


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  • Name James Durkel 
    Born 13 May 1956 
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 May 2012 
    Person ID I31190  Stewartsnydotcom
    Last Modified 14 Oct 2019 

    Family Ancestors Stephen Edward Finn 
    Last Modified 14 Oct 2019 
    Family ID F11544  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Online Obituary - Monday, June 4, 2012 - Jim Durkel, 56, died May 28, 2012 of complications from multiple myeloma. He is survived by his partner of 29 years, Stephen Finn; six brothers and sisters, Andrew, Jeff, Kathy, Ken, Pat Durkel and Molly Tanner; eight nieces; six nephew; and three dogs, three horses, four cats and one cockatiel. Jim was born May 13, 1956, in Gary, Indiana, the fourth of seven children of Carl and Theresa Durkel. He enrolled in Purdue University, majoring first in pre-veterinary science, then in agriculture, and finally obtaining Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech pathology and audiology. He was ABD in Communications Disorders from the University of Texas and a certified teacher for the visually impaired. This eclectic mix of studies reflected many of his lifelong interests. He was an animal lover who could charm any four-legged creature - only Jim could pet the feral cats who took up residence in Jim and Steve’s barn. He was an avid gardener and cook. While in college, he grew cucumbers and sold them to the local pickle factory. Jim found his vocation in serving children with sensory deficits, working for more than 20 years in the outreach program at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin. He felt a deep sense of responsibility about his work. In spite of significant health issues over the last year, he refused to retire. He told his loved ones he didn’t feel finished; he wanted to be sure to have everything in perfect order for whoever might take over his job. In 2001 Steve and Jim moved to Elgin because there was no room for horses in their Austin back yard. No matter where they lived, Jim turned every yard into a vibrant, welcoming garden. Above all else, Jim had a gift for making things grow, whether it was plants, pets, people or his own heart and intellect. He will be deeply and enduringly missed. A memorial service will be held at a future date. Jim’s family wishes to thank Dr. Jason Melear and the staff at Texas Oncology and the ICU staff at Seton Hospital for their wonderful care of Jim. Please send contributions to the Jim Durkel Memorial Fund at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, 78756 or to the International Myeloma Foundation, 12650 Riverside Drive, Suite 206, North Hollywood, CA, 91607-3421.