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John T. Durkin, 85, of Fort Collins, died Wednesday, July 13, 2005, at The Life Center at Columbine Care Center West. He was born May 26, 1920, in Chicago, the oldest of four children of Annette and Thomas Durkin. He was employed at United States Steel South Works for thirty-six years before retiring to Fort Collins in 1975. John married Rosalie Kowalski on July 9, 1941, in Chicago. Their union lasted 63 years until her death on Jan. 27, 2005. They were active members of St. Joseph’s Parish where John served as an usher and Eucharistic minister. He also belonged to the Knights of Columbus. John served honorably in the United States Army during World War II with Co. K 30th Infantry of the Third Division. He was a Ranger and squad leader who saw combat in the European and North African Theaters. He was a survivor of the landing at Anzio Beachhead. He was decorated with the French Croix de Guerre with Palm, the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Silver Star. He never forgot his comrades in arms and participated in annual reunions of the Third Infantry Division. After “official” retirement, John worked at Hewlett Packard in Fort Collins as a “coffee man.” He made many friends, especially the “Dungeon Dolls,” who enjoyed his jokes and St. Patrick’s Day regalia. He always delivered a smile with the coffee and the doughnuts. After St. Patrick’s Day, his favorite holiday was the 4th of July when he entertained his extended family and neighbors with a personal fireworks show. He was devoted to his country, his family, and his faith. Men like him are a rare treasure and a blessing. Mr. Durkin is survived by his daughter, Susanne Durkin-Schindler and husband, R. Lee Schindler, of Fort Collins; son, John A. Durkin, and wife, Patty, of Shady Shores, Texas; three very special granddaughters, Renee C. Brewer, and husband, Rod, of Centennial, Andrea R. and Shannon M. Durkin of Shady Shores, Texas; sister, Sylvia Barus of Palos Park, Illinois; brother, Thomas Durkin of Homewood, Illinois; and many nieces and nephews. Visitation will be at 6 p.m., Tuesday at Allnutt Drake Chapel, with Recitation of the Rosary to follow at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Blessed John XXIII Catholic Church. Interment will occur later on Wednesday at Fort Logan Cemetery in Denver. Father Don Willette will officiate. Many thanks to the wonderful staff at Loveland Good Samaritan Village, Columbine Care Center West, and Hospice of Larimer County. Memorial contributions can be made to Loveland Good Samaritan or Hospice of Larimer County.

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