Durwood Kent Durrance, 91, of Fort Meade, Fla., passed away Jan. 7, 2013, at his home in Fort Meade from complications due to cancer.
Born Jan. 29, 1921, to J.H. and Annie Alderman Durrance, he was a lifelong resident of Polk County.
He grew up in a ranching and citrus lifestyle near Tilhman Mine where he often fished in the old pits. As a young man he loved country music but could not read a note of music. So he learned to play the fiddle, guitar and harmonica by ear. In his later years he also enjoyed listening to gospel music.
During the last years of World War II he was drafted into the Navy. He was responsible for keeping airplanes in a ready flying condition. He retired from Swift & Co. phosphate mine, later known as Estech.
Over the years he has been in the citrus and cattle businesses. He could crack a mean cow whip. Mr. Durrance was known by his friends as D.K. He was a first-rate family man, always ready with a kind word, encouragement, or a helping hand. He was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Fort Meade where he was designated Deacon Emeritus a few years ago.
He was the last surviving member of the Building Committee for the Sanctuary.
Anyone close to him knew he had a lifelong fondness for raw oysters, swamp cabbage, fish and sugar cane syrup. He regularly prepared swamp cabbage to share with his family.
D.K. was preceded in death by his brother, Larry Durrance, and his wife of 61 years, Margaret Martin Durrance.
He is survived by his daughters, Janet (Kenneth) Hancock, Vickie (Gino) Commuso, Ginger Durrance, Danna (Cliff) Kirchof; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by his late-life best friend Norma Jones.
Visitation will be Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, from 10-11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Fort Meade.
Funeral service follows on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church conducted by Pastor Kenny Slay.
Interment will be in the Bowling Green Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Florida Baptist Children’s Home at 1015 Sikes Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33815.
Condolences to the family at www.McLeanfuneralhome.net. McLean Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.