William Edgar Durbin, Jr. (Bill) joined his Heavenly Father the morning of November 29th, 2019 in Prosser, WA after a swift, dignified battle with cancer. Bill courageously lived out his last days with gratitude and his renowned sense of humor while being surrounded by family.
He was born, along with his twin sister Wilma, in Denver, CO on June 26th, 1936. Bill’s life encompassed many struggles from the beginning. His father Edward Durbin left to serve in WWII, while his biological mother abandoned the children at home. Bill often spoke of making Ketchup soup for his siblings’ dinner and setting up jars at the Delicious Jam Factory where he had his first job at the age of 10. Without parents at home, Bill and his siblings were going to be placed in an orphanage until a grandfather stepped forward to give the children a home. This early adversity was foundational in Bill’s incredible character and work ethic.
Upon graduating high school, he attended Colorado A&M with the hopes of one day becoming a rancher, until the Korean War prompted a military draft. Wanting to join his drafted buddies, he volunteered to join the US Army in 1956. After serving, Bill relocated to Sunnyside, WA after a buddy offered him a job selling tractors at R&B Equipment in 1958. Shortly thereafter, he met his future wife Dolores Thomas while cruising the Safeway parking lot in his 49’ Chevy, offering to help fix her stalled car in exchange for a date. They were married on January 7th, 1960. Several years later Bill purchased National Gas Company, of which he was owner/operator for 42 years. Providing for his employees and family was the greatest joy of his life.
Bill had a heart of service and was involved in the community in many ways. He served on the boards of both the Sunnyside Church of God and the Grandview Nazarene Church, was a member of the Sunnyside Christian School’s building & finance committee; and coached various youth football, basketball, & baseball teams. In later years, his favorite way to pass the day was spending time with his many grandchildren, working out at the Prosser Family Fitness Zone, and indulging in his wife’s homemade sweets.
Bill is preceded in death by his father Edward Durbin, step-mother Agnes Durbin, & brother George Durbin. He is survived by his wife Dolores Durbin; sister Wilma Collins; sister Linda Nickles; son Mark (Lisa) Durbin; son Matthew (Kathi) Durbin; son Mike Navarro; daughter Jodi Durbin; and daughter Jamie (Derek) Van De Wege; 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
The celebration of Bill’s life will take place on December 14th, 2019 at 2 pm at the Grandview Nazarene Church. The family asks that any donations be made to Heartlinks Hospice or Sunnyside Christian School. Those wishing to sign Bill’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.
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