MARGARET LOUISE " MARGO" DURAZO (1936-2014)
Margaret L. "Margo" Durazo, 78, passed away on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at Yuma Regional Medical Center. Perhaps if there was one single attribute she should be recognized for was her bravery in fighting her many illnesses. Despite the pain, she seldom complained.
Margaret was born to William and Montie Hoover in Florence, Texas on March 8, 1936. Being the youngest child and only girl, she was worshipped by her two older brothers, Wilton (deceased) and James of Frederick, Colorado and her seven paternal aunts and uncles who demanded and expected her frequent visits. As a child, and even later in life, Margaret was known for her conversational ability, her long curly hair, and her beautiful large hazel eyes. She often recalled how her grandfather Hoover, an accomplished gospel singer, would sit her on his lap and sing to her songs she long remembered.
In her early years, Margaret and her family moved to Georgetown, and finally to Austin Texas, the city Margaret loved and considered her true hometown. While working on her secondary education, Margaret also had a job as a hostess in the restaurant her family had established in Austin. Her bubbly personality and her natural beauty made her a customer favorite. After completing her education and deciding that the restaurant business was not to be in her future, she moved to Houston, TX with relatives to enter in the field of real estate and train for her career. After two years of success in her chosen field, her career took a sudden turn when she met and fell in love with a young Air Force Lieutenant, Charles, who was to be her husband for almost 56 years. They married in 1958 and joined hands to initiate a productive and rewarding 24-year Air Force career. In 1960, the birth of their son Michael enhanced their love for each other but did not interrupt Margaret's continuing education as her husband's assignments would allow. Margaret was known for her intelligence and knowledge and ability to recall historical dates and names. She loved to play the role of an at-home contestant for every quiz show on television. She was an avid reader and maintained a vast library of non-fiction books. Perhaps her most interesting and varied nonacademic activities included working on projects at the famous Woods hole Oceanographic Institute in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and later supporting the US Immigration Service in the massive U.S. effort of integrating thousands of South Vietnamese refugees in American society after the end of the war in their country.
The family loved to travel and in 1973, embarked on a trip to Spain. Uniquely, the round trip from Charleston AFB, SC to Madrid, Spain was made on an Air Force C-141 cargo aircraft whose mission was to deliver supplies to embassies in Spain and Turkey. The family rented a small auto and with Margaret as Navigator, traveled over the most interesting sections of that charming country. In 1988, Margaret formally joined her husband's aerospace consulting firm in Washington D.C., while he pursued new ventures. During that period, in dealing with the military, Margaret became aware of the many shortfalls in the education of military dependent children and she decided to participate in a corrective program. Her positive scholarship efforts brought her recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia in the form of a coveted General Jimmy Doolittle Fellowship in Aerospace Education, also being named Air Force Association Member of the Year for the State of Virginia. It was also on that year, that Margaret and her husband received the great honor of being selected to perform the traditional Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, honoring military veterans on behalf of the Air Force Association.
The arrival of grandchildren added another dimension to her life. It meant trips to farms, the Washington Zoo, train rides, beach visits, ski trips, and lovely drives in the Shenandoah Valley. It also meant cookie bakes, scattered toys and much love and kisses for the best "Nana" ever. It was Margaret's impressive beauty, spirit, personality, and ability to make friends at first meeting that made her such a sought-after military wife representative. These were but a few of the attributes and qualities that made her husband fall madly in love with her. There will never be another treasure to equal Margaret.
Margaret is survived by her husband, Colonel Charles G. Durazo, USAF Retired; son, Michael (Kimberly); brother, James; grandchildren Bryan, Danny, Andrew (SPC, U.S. Army) and Alec, all except brother James and grandson Andrew live in the State of Virginia. She is also survived by the many Durazo brothers; sisters-in-law; nephews; and nieces; most residing in Yuma.
A Catholic Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at the historic St. Thomas Indian Mission, 350 Picacho Road, Winterhaven, CA. The church where Margaret converted to the Catholic faith and where she married her husband, both events and this Mass officiated by a friend and long-time family pastor, Father Duncan "Rusty" Monohan. An informal reception Celebrating Margaret's Life will follow immediately after the mass at the Yuma Golf and Country Club, 3150 S. Fortuna Avenue, Yuma. Margaret will receive the honor of being buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Donations should be forwarded to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida 32256.
Arrangements under the direction of Johnson Mortuary & Desert Lawn Memorial Park, Yuma, AZ.