Norma Mildred Durkee

July 22, 1919October 16, 2013

Norma Mildred Speers Durkee Williamston, Michigan

Born July 22, 1919, passed away on October 16, 2013 at the age of

94. A friend to many still living and to many who have gone

before, near and far.

Norma would wryly say she was only related by marriage to her

best friend and light of her life, husband Maurice Lafayette

Durkee. They were sunshine for one another for their 72 ½ years of

marriage, having and holding for better for worse, for richer for

poorer, in sickness and in health, loving and cherishing to death’s


She was cherished in life and cared for in the last journey by son

Alan (Karen) of East Lansing; daughters, Marilyn (Larry d. 2003)

of Detroit and Adele (Gordon) of Peterborough, Ontario. Norma

followed with love, daily prayer and annual birthday cards the

unfolding lives of grandchildren Aaron (Vonda), Jarrod (Sara),

Alycia (Josh), Erica (John), Rachelle (Scott), Elisabeth (Rick) and

Jessica (Matt). To the end she was delighted by her great-

grandchildren Madison, Adan and Ella.

An only child, Norma was preceded in the journey to life after life

by beloved father Joseph Milo Speers and mother Olive Maria

Carver Speers. She was the fifth Speers generation on Rowley

Road, Locke Township, and attended Rowley School and

Williamston High School where she played on the girls’ basketball


After graduating from Lansing Business College, Norma worked at

Oldsmobile in Lansing during World War II until the birth of son

Alan. After the births of Marilyn and Adele, she returned to higher

education as a mature student and received a B.A. Ed. from

Michigan State University. From 1957-1979 Mrs. Durkee taught

Grade 6 at Williamston Elementary and Middle Schools.

As retirees, Norma and Maurice lived November-April, 1979-

2011, in Palmetto, Florida, enjoying visits from family and friends,

and “playing” with a new circle of friends. They travelled

extensively in their younger years within the United States and

Canada, and in retirement travelled throughout the world, with

highlights in China, Liberia and Malaysia.

Norma was a lifelong member of Rowley Wesleyan Church,

exercising her gifts of teaching and administration as a Sunday

School teacher and treasurer. She learned friendship from Jesus

and offered kind and generous hospitality to many who became


What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2013, 2:00 p.m. at Rowley Wesleyan Church, 3720 Rowley Rd, Williamston with the Pastor Les Kephart officiating. The family will receive friends on Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 205 E. Middle St, Williamston and one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made in Norma’s memory to the Rowley Wesleyan Church Building Fund, 3720 Rowley Rd, Williamston, MI 48895 or World Vision, PO Box 9716, Federal Way, VA 98063.


  • Funeral Service Saturday, October 19, 2013
  • Visitation Friday, October 18, 2013
  • Visitation Saturday, October 19, 2013

Norma Mildred Durkee

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November 14, 2014

Prayers with Norma's family and friends. I was a neighbor (on grand river), fellow church member (Rowley Wesleyan) and hairstylist to Norma for many years. She was a wonderful lady we will be missed by many until we see her again in heaven.

Ken Waite

October 19, 2013

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I remember the good times that we had at your home.

Mark & Karen Durkee

October 18, 2013

All of you are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers.

Kay Shorb (Durkee)

October 18, 2013

Although it has been more years than I care to recall, I can still remember many wonderful times spent with Aunt Norma and Uncle Maurice, mostly at the Williamston farm. Kris and I shared the loss of Aunt Norma with mom and dad and they asked us to be sure to send on their sympathy and let you know that you are in their thoughts. We are nearing the end of a generation and it's sometimes difficult to comprehend. Hopefully, we will leave behind as strong a legacy as did our parents.


October 18, 2013

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

Mark McClenathan

October 17, 2013

Alan and Maureen-my thoughts are with you during this time of sadness. Remember the good times and celebrate Mom's life.

October 17, 2013

Oh that we all would have such beautiful things said about our character, our life and our faith as were said about this incredible woman. A priviledge to have know her as a teacher in Williamston and friend of Marilyn.
Oh what joy she gave and oh what joy she knows now.
Karen (Meerman) Levene Augusta MI.

Jim & Barb Mooney

October 17, 2013

Our hearts go out to the Durkee family. We used to see them at Meijers doing their grocery shopping all the time. Norma was such a kind person. May she rest in peace.

Cindy Morgan (Hammond)

October 17, 2013

Norma and Maurice were like second parents to me throughout my high school years, welcoming me as Adele's friend into their home and lives. I remember their kindness with much gratefulness.

Kathy and Duane Whitmyer

October 17, 2013

She was a great lady. I used to do her hair when I had my salon in Williamston. She was always positive and so interesting to talk to. I am sure Heaven is better for her arrival there.