Gary O. Durr, age 74, of Jackson, found peace on Saturday, March 8, 2014 while surrounded by his family at the Kathy Hospice.
He was born on May 30, 1939 in Milwaukee to the late Henry and Evelyn (nee Garrigan) Durr. Gary attended Carlton Grade School in Milwaukee and was a 1957 graduate of Custer High School also in Milwaukee. On March 22, 1958 Gary was united in marriage to Judith Butler and together they began a family that would grow into three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Their first home was in Milwaukee and they eventually moved to Germantown before settling in Jackson where they were blessed with wonderful friends and neighbors.
During high school and for some time after, Gary worked for Reinhardt Green Houses on 35th and Florist Avenue in Milwaukee. It was there that he began a lifelong love of growing roses and always made sure he had fresh carnations to bring home to his wife. He also worked for A.O. Smith as a welder for a short time before becoming a Milwaukee Police Officer in 1962. Gary retired in 1991 after 29 years of service.
Gary was a member of Florist Avenue Lutheran Church in Milwaukee for many years where he managed the church baseball and bowling teams. He was currently a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Jackson.
Gary had many hobbies and interests including bowling, baseball, basketball, and football. He loved playing cards and would play any type of card game you wanted. Gary enjoyed deer hunting every year where he would meet with family and friends in northern Wisconsin. He was an avid rose gardener, enjoyed collecting hand carved wood ducks, and raising St. Bernard dogs with his wife Judy.
Gary and Judy started their antiquing hobby 30 years ago. They bought antiques and sold them in several different antique malls and markets both in Wisconsin and Florida. Gary began restoring antique furniture after his retirement and had reconnected with an old police lieutenant whom he knew while working on the police department. They worked together for many years restoring and refinishing antiques until Gary no longer could because of the problems with his feet and legs.
He enjoyed living in Florida as a snow bird for several years where he played cards with family and his friends at the Am Vet post.
Gary is survived by his loving wife of over 55 years, Judy (nee Butler); his three children, Kari Durr, Scott (Annette) Durr, and Jami Sickler; eight grandchildren, Kelli (Phil) Mommaerts, David (Pam) Ward, Kristen Pearson, Scott Durr, Alex Durr, Matthew Durr, Tessa Sickler, and Blaise Sickler; two great-grandchildren, Addison and Greyson Mommaerts; two sisters, Pat (John) Loretz and Diana (Robert) Motl; a brother, Timothy (Nancy) Durr; a sister-in-law, Joan (Karl) Cooper; a brother-in-law, James (Jodi) Butler; and many other nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Evelyn (nee Garrigan) Durr; and his brother, Brian (Sandra) Durr.
A memorial service will be Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church (2881 Division Rd. Jackson, WI 53037). Visitation will be at the church on Thursday from 11:00 am until the time of service.
Memorials to the Cedar Community Foundation (113 Cedar Ridge Dr. West Bend, WI 53095) are appreciated.
The family would like to thank Pastor Paul Mittermaier for the comfort he brought Gary and his family through his prayers and by his presence.