Rev. John E. Durkee, CSV, died on Friday, April 14, 2000 at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights, Illinois. He had been hospitalized briefly while suffering with pneumonia. He died at the age of 87.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, John Durkee was born on May 15, 1912, the son of George and Teresa Durkee. He entered the Viatorian Novitiate in September of 1935 and pronounced his first vows on September 8, 1936. After undergraduate and theological studies, he was ordained to the priesthood on August 29, 1943 in Springfield, Illinois by Bishop James Griffin.
Father Durkee then began a long career in the field of Catholic secondary education. He taught at St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf and Stepinac High School in New York, St. Philip in Chicago, St. Patrick in Kankakee, Cathedral Boys’ and Griffin High School in Springfield, Gorman High School in Las Vegas and St. Viator High School. In 1972, he moved to Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights where he served as Chaplain in the school and for the Springfield Dominican Sisters. He served in this capacity until 1976 when he retired. For the past few years he has lived at Holy Family Villa in Lemont, Illinois.
Visitation was held at Holy Family Villa, 12375 McCarthy Road, Lemont, Illinois. The Visitation was held on Tuesday, April 18, 2000 beginning at 9:30 A.M. The Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday morning at 10:30 A.M at Holy Family Villa. Burial was in the community plot at Maternity B.V.M. Cemetery in Bourbonnais following the Funeral Mass.
Father Durkee was preceded in death by his parents, George and Teresa, his brothers George, Myron, Urban and Edward and his sisters Marie and Sister Ann Clare, IHM. Father Durkee is survived by his sister, Sister Florent Marie, IHM.
I ask each local community to remember Father Durkee in your prayers and to gather in your local communities to remember him in Eucharist.
Taken from letter to the Viatorian Community, April 17, 2000, from the Provincial, Rev. Robert M. Egan, CSV