Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home: Obituaries

Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home

Henry Milton Durham Henry Milton Durham
(January 31, 1917 - February 3, 2010)

U.S. Veteran Henry Milton Durham, 93 of Woodville, passed away, Wednesday, Febrary 3, 2010 at Dogwood Hills Manor in Woodville, Texas.

Funeral services will be Saturday, February 6th at 3:00pm at First Baptist Church in Woodville with burial at Campground Cemetery near Woodville.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 - 7:00pm on Friday, February 5th at Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home in Woodville.

Milton was born January 31, 1917 to Jesse N & Verna Davison Durham in Colmesneil, Texas. He was a 1936 graduate of Kirby High School in Woodville, Texas. He joined the National Guard in 1937 while a student at Sam Houston State Teacher College where he graduated with a B.S. in Education in 1940. After WWII, he attended Texas A&M earning his MEd in Forestry in 1946. In 1954, he began post-graduate work toward his doctorate at the University of Texas. He was called to active duty on November 23, 1940, as Private 1st Class in the 143rd Regiment Co. F, 36th Division at Huntsville. With Pearl Harbor happening in 1941, he entered WWII. He completed Officer's Candidate School in 1942 and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant after which he was assigned to Camp San Luis Obispo, CA. After several back and forth moves to posts in Fort Benning, GA and back to Salinas, CA several times he was sent from San Francisco to New Guinea in 1944 and also spent time in the Philippines, Laiti Island and the South Pacific. In the midst of this activity, he married his college sweetheart, Audrey Benton, on December 13, 1941. He retired from active duties and Army Reserves in 1977 as Lt. Col., after 5 combat campaigns and 7 1/2 years of active duty. After the war he returned to Woodville in 1946 as Voc. Ag Teacher for 5 years, from 1946-1951. During this period he facilitated the acquisition of land on the Jasper Highway for the FFA farm for Woodville Independent School District. He was elected to the position of State Director of the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas during this time. After recall to active duty, he served on the faculty and staff at Ft. Benning, Georgia for 2 years during the Korean Conflict. He returned to Woodville Independent School District again and taught Civics and History at Kirby High School from 1953-54. In 1954, he aided in organizing a Woodville Junior High School and served as its first principal until 1956. Appointed in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he served as Postmaster in Woodville for 21 years. During this period, a new Post Office building was erected, a second class office was raised to a modern first class office classification, city delivery service was established and rural delivery service was tripled. He retired in 1977. He joined the Woodville Rotary Club in 1946 and served for over 60 year as a Rotarian. He received the perfect attendance award for 30 of those years. He has served as both Secretary and President of the club and holds the distinction of the Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary. He was a member of the Magnolia Masonic Lodge 495 of Woodville and had served as both Secretary and Master of the Lodge. He served 8 years on the Board of Directors of Tyler County Farm Bureau. During this time, property was secured for space for an office building. Membership grew from 650 to 2100 members during this time. Five of the 8 years were served as Chairman of the Board. He served 9 years on the Agriculture Soil Conservation Stabilization Committee for Tyler County. He circulated a petition for Tyler County that promoted and lead to the organization of the Long Leaf Soil and Water Conservation District receiving the original charter in 1949. He was named Outstanding Conservationist in 1986. He was ordained as a Deacon in the First Baptist Church of Woodville in 1949. He served as Chairman on the Deacon Counil and Chairman of the Church Trustees from 1975 to the present. He organized the FBC Child Day Care Center in 1968 and has served as its Chairman until his retirement in 1998. He was Honorary Citizen of the Year for Tyler County Chamber of Commerce in 1986 and Tyler County Fair Breeder's Award - Breeder of the Year for 1985, 1996 and 1997. Frequently he donated calves for Ag and 4-H Shows for many years. He was a Rancher/Farmer, raising Registered Black Angus Cattle until he retired in 1999.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Yvette Durham McManus and his grandson, Stephen Patrick McManus.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Audrey Benton Durham of Woodville; daughter & son-in-law, Bobbie Roschelle & Jerry Springfield of Woodville; sister, Irene Kelley of Woodville; grandchildren, Heidi Yvette Springfield Marsala & husband, John of Mansfield, Tyler Milton Springfield & wife, Kayla of Denton, Christopher Todd McManus & wife, Brianne of College Station, and Michael Jordan McManus & fiance, Samantha of Cypress; and great grandchildren, Aynsley Marsala, Gray Marsala and Hope McManus.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Day Care, 202 S. Charlton, Woodville, Texas 75979 and Odyssey Hospice, 902 N. Wheeler, Jasper, Texas 75951.