Leon Dure Obituary
 
In Memory of

Leon S Dure III

January 19, 1931 - May 11, 2014
Obituary

Leon Sebring Dure III, 83, Franklin Professor (emeritus) of Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, Colonel (ret) United States Marine Corps (Reserves), died peacefully in his sleep, Sunday, May 11 at St. Mary's Hospice House. Born January 19, 1931 in Macon, GA, he was the son of Leon Sebring Dure Jr. and Katherine Mackin Dure, who preceded him in death, along with his brother, Kendrick Dure. He spent his early childhood years in Richmond, VA where he attended St. Christopher's School and then grew up on his beloved home, East Belmont Farm, Keswick, VA. He graduated from the Woodberry Forest School, Orange, VA and attended...
Leon Sebring Dure III, 83, Franklin Professor (emeritus) of Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, Colonel (ret) United States Marine Corps (Reserves), died peacefully in his sleep, Sunday, May 11 at St. Mary's Hospice House. Born January 19, 1931 in Macon, GA, he was the son of Leon Sebring Dure Jr. and Katherine Mackin Dure, who preceded him in death, along with his brother, Kendrick Dure.

He spent his early childhood years in Richmond, VA where he attended St. Christopher's School and then grew up on his beloved home, East Belmont Farm, Keswick, VA. He graduated from the Woodberry Forest School, Orange, VA and attended the University of Virginia where he received a bachelor's degree in philosophy. He was a member of St. Anthony Hall. Following graduation, he served as a United States Marine Corps officer in the mountains of Korea during the Korean War. After returning to the United States, and heeding his father's advice to become a scientist, he turned his attention to plant biology and earned a master's degree in plant embryology from the University of Virginia. He continued his education at the University of Texas where he received his PhD in plant physiology. Hired by the University of Georgia in 1960, he came to Athens as a post doctoral fellow. His career of research and teaching graduate biochemistry spanned 44 years. His contributions to the development of plant molecular biology were recognized globally.

An article appearing in an October 1985 issue of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported: "When the International Society for Plant Molecular Biology was established in 1984, Leon Dure was elected its first president. Dure brought Georgia international attention by organizing the First International Congress of the ISPMB in Savannah. As chairman and chief officer of the Congress, Dure will be host to nearly all of the world's leading plant molecular biologists. The more than 1,700 pre-registered, include scientists from 33 countries.

"…He has strived to do fundamental research on important problems of our time, asserting that 'the difference between people is the level at which they are satisfied with an answer.' Dure reaches for the deeper meaning. His contributions to plant molecular biology and the University of Georgia reflect these qualities in the man." He remained financial officer of the ISPMB until his retirement.

A philosopher, historian, professor, libertarian, scientist, soldier and pantheist, believing all things living were divine, he was most of all, the consummate Southern gentleman. He was perhaps most proud of his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He remained in the Marine Corps Reserves for decades, achieving the rank of Colonel before retiring.

He is survived by his wife, Margarett (Meg) Gunn Dure; three sons, Davis Oakford Dure (Lucy Ann), Philadelphia, PA; Dr. Leon Sebring Dure IV (Romy Albin), Birmingham, AL; Preston (Beau) Kendrick Dure (Jen), Vienna, VA; and a daughter, Jane Rankin Dure, San Antonio, TX. Also surviving are five grandchildren; two step-children, Frank Booker McGriff, Athens; and Margarett Gunn McGriff McIntosh (William), Savannah, one step-grandson; and his longtime caregiver, Mrs. Belinda Lee.

At his request no memorial service will be held. Memorials may be sent to St. Mary's Hospice House, P.O. Box 6588, Athens, GA 30604, or the Wounded Warriors Project.

Share your memories or express your condolences by signing the Guest Book below or click here for entry suggestions.

"i will always hold close to my heart the happy hours talking with Leon on Springdale St about Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky coffee bean trees and..." Kirk Moore (Highlands, NC)

Submit Guest Book Entry
This Guest Book has 14 entries. View Complete Guest Book

More Obituaries

Athens Banner-Herald
Leon Sebring Dure III, 83, Franklin Professor (emeritus) of Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, Colonel (ret) United States Marine Corps...

Read obituary at Athens Banner-Herald.

Personalize Your Tribute

Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.

 
Start Planning Today

Make Your Plan Today

Preplanning your funeral or cemetery arrangements gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Don't wait. Make your plan online today.
Plan Online Now
Send a Card
Send Meals to the Family