Donald C. Durbin,
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Donald C. Durbin,
  • August 26, 1925 - July 10, 2017
  • Springfield, Illinois

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Dr. Donald Clayton Durbin, Sr. 91, passed away on July 10, 2017 at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois.

He was born on August 26, 1925, in Springfield, Illinois. He was the son of Helen Clayton Durbin and Leslie H. Durbin.

He is survived by daughter, Nancy L. Durbin of Springfield; sons, Richard L. Durbin of Phoenix, Arizona and David S. Durbin of Springfield; one niece and two nephews.

Preceding him in death were his son, Donald C. Durbin, Jr., in 2003; Virginia O'Shea Durbin, mother of his children in 2015; and his sister Norma Rooney in 2016.

He was a veteran of the US Army Air Force in training as a navigator on B-17, B-24 and B-29 bombers for the Pacific Theatre in World War II.

Dr. Durbin graduated from Springfield High School and Springfield College in Springfield, IL. He graduated from St Louis University School of Dentistry, St. Louis, MO in 1952.

Dr. Durbin practiced dentistry in Springfield for 61 years in downtown Springfield on the square in the Myers Building. Harry Truman was president in 1952 when Dr. Durbin started practicing dentistry. When he retired and closed his office in 2013 he was the last dentist in the Myers Building, ending an era for what was the foremost medical office building in Springfield dating back to at least the 1920's.

He grew up farming with his father Leslie Durbin on land near Berry, IL. and later, New City, IL. He continued a tradition of farming as a second occupation started by his father, Leslie Durbin, who was chief of the IRS intelligence unit in Springfield until his death in 1959.

He married Virginia Rose O'Shea on December 23, 1950. They lived in St. Louis, Missouri until 1952 when he finished dental school. They returned to Springfield and raised their children. Many wonderful times were shared by the family spending time on the farm. Dr. Durbin planted crops as well as raised livestock including cattle and hogs. His children had the memorable experience growing up riding horses and ponies and farm life.

Above all, Dr. Durbin loved his children and family, as they were most important to him. He was a craftsman with an eye for detail. Multitalented, he could build a house, repair farm equipment, make perfect dentures and perform complex dental procedures. He enjoyed his patients and the office immensely. He had many patients with him from the time he started practicing dentistry in 1952 until he retired in 2013. He was also on staff at St. John's Hospital for emergency dental procedures during the 1950's. His office walls had no clear boundaries as he donated his time at Matheny School Dental Clinic for over 50 years. He enjoyed being a volunteer at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. He had a charming personality with a wit and humor enjoyed and appreciated by many. He will be greatly missed.

A funeral service will be held at 11:30 AM on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at Bisch & Son Funeral Home, 505 East Allen St., Springfield, IL, with burial to follow in Stout Cemetery in Chatham, IL with military honors provided by the Sangamon County Inter Veterans Burial Detail. The family will meet with friends from 10:00 AM until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, 57 Country Place, Springfield, IL 62703 and please visit the online "Life Remembered Story" at www.bischandsonfuneralhome.com.