Norma Mildred Speers Durkee
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.