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Edwin Merle Durham

January 16, 1932 October 9, 2014
Edwin Merle Durham
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Obituary for Edwin Merle Durham

OCONOMOWOC, Wisc. – Edwin Merle Durham, 82, of Oconomowoc, Wisc., formerly of Princeville, Ill., passed away at 3:42 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, at Shore Haven Nursing Home in Oconomowoc. Edwin was born on Jan. 16, 1932, in Colfax, Ill., to Everett Lee and Maggie Lee (Walker) Durham. He married Patricia Anne McCormick on Dec. 27, 1954, in Philo, Ill. She survives. He is also survived by his children, Judith (Mark Schriener) Springer of Kansas City, Mo., Edwin Lee Durham of Champaign, David (Lisa) Durham of Indianapolis, Mary (Nick) DiGrispino of Lansing, Ill., Franklin Durham of Tuscola, Ill., Gesele (Victor Ponelis) Durham of Oconomowoc, Wisc., and Jennifer Durham of Indianapolis; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; one sister, Frances Henderson; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by one daughter, Patricia Anne Durham; and seven brothers and sisters. Edwin was an Air Force veteran, serving during the Korean Conflict. He taught history and economics for 38 years, with the majority of those at Richwoods High School. He was a profound believer in education and its ability to transform lives. Edwin was an elected town official in Princeville, serving on both the school board and as the town clerk. For many years, he was a beekeeper. He was also an avid supporter of local arts and culture. Although a teacher by profession, in his heart he was a farmer and loved all animals, especially dogs. In his retirement he planted and tended an apple orchard with over 100 different trees, specializing in antique varieties. He was also Volunteer of the Year at Heartland Clinic in Peoria. A funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, at St. Thomas Catholic Church, Peoria Heights. Father Thomas Taylor will officiate. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, also at the church, with recitation of the Rosary at 6:45 p.m. A graveside service will be at 3 p.m. in Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Crittenden Township near Philo, Ill. Wright & Salmon Mortuary is handling the arrangements. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association or the Lupus Foundation of America. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to


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