Jerry Wayne Duran, 75, hit his final 300-yard drive straight down the middle of the fairway on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Jerry was born in Conway on Aug. 19, 1942, the third of 10 children, to Ruth Aileen Allen Duran and Virgil Bernard Duran. He excelled in his studies and in athletics, playing on the Banks Boll Weevil League baseball team during high school. He was the first in his family to go to college. He graduated from Arkansas A and M College in Monticello and played center field for the Boll Weevils baseball team.
Following college, he moved to the big city and began working at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Industrial Research and Extension Center, where he met his wife, Evedna Kathryn Savary Duran. They married in 1966 and had two children, Mary Angela Duran and Alex Randal Duran.
Jerry spent most of his career in public service at the Department of Finance and Administration. For many years, he staffed the state’s Drug Task Force, which took a combined approach of prevention, treatment, and prosecution. He was known by his colleagues as a man of hard work and high integrity. Though small in stature, he was big in heart. He gained the friendship and respect of many.
Jerry was very active in his church, Our Lady of Good Counsel, and the community. He served on the parish council and the school board at Good Counsel Catholic Church. He was one of the first dads to serve as a playground parent, and he coached his daughter’s basketball team and his son’s baseball team. He was the unofficial photographer of Gopher athletics from about 1978 – 1984.
He continued his own athletic career as a shortstop for the Good Counsel men’s softball team and as a weekly golfer for most of his life. He retired in his late 50s and enjoyed life to the fullest. He spent time with his four beloved grandchildren, Lauren Alyssa Duran, Lindsey Alyson Duran, Matthew Duran Lewis, and Noah James Lewis. He enjoyed traveling to Europe and across the United States and Canada and walking in the woods with his brothers.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 51 years, Evedna; children, Angela and Alex and their spouses, Lill and Heather; grandchildren Lauren, Lindsey, Matthew, and Noah; siblings David Duran, Kathryn Duran Duffy, Dennis Duran, Diana Duran Moore, Ginger Duran Phipps, Mike Duran, and Teresa Duran Emery; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Richard Duran and Warren Duran.
A visitation was held at 6 pm, followed by a rosary at 7 pm, Thursday, Feb. 22 at Griffin Leggett Funeral Home, 5800 W. 12th Street in Little Rock. The funeral Mass was held at 10 am, Friday, Feb. 23 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 1321 S. Van Buren in Little Rock.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Jerry Duran Memorial Scholarship Fund to support first-generation college students at Arkansas Community Foundation, 1400 West Markham, Suite 206, Little Rock, AR 72201.
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