BAMBERG -- The best husband a girl could ever have passed away Friday, April 9, 2021, at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg. He was kind, caring, understanding, and considerate. He treated his wife like a queen during their 41 years of marriage. He had to learn how to "love" dogs, as he was a cat person before marriage.
Jerry always called his wife "Sweetie Pie" or "Sweetheart," never Carol. Toward the end of his life, he would joke that he was "Mr. Sweetie Pie” to her Miss Sweetie Pie. The last day he remembered her as Miss Sweetie Pie, but couldn't remember himself as Mr. Sweetie Pie. It was evident the end was near.
Jerry passed away from COPD, after being addicted to tobacco for 77 years. He also was in the last stages of Alzheimer's.
At his request, no funeral was held. Although a small ceremony may be held later in the future when the family can assemble.
Mr. Jerry Pat Durgan, 89, grew up in Oklahoma and Texas. He was born on Sept. 18, 1931, in Cushing, Oklahoma. His father was Leland Archie Durgan and his mother was Villa Elaine Mitchell Durgan, both of Oklahoma. Both are deceased.
Jerry was predeceased by his brother, Jack Durgan (Alva), first wife, Lucy Carol Olafson of Texas, and a son, Kevin.
He leaves to cherish his memory one sister, Joanna (Jay) Agnew of California. His remaining son, Kelly (Sandy) lives in Odell, Texas, with their three grandchildren: Aleeah Shay Durgan, Sydney Lee Durgan, and Skylar Elisa Durgan. Kelly has two daughters; Jessica Rose Lee Durgan, an Army nurse in Florida, and Charla Rae Lynn Durgan of Florida.
Jerry leaves to cherish his memory, his second wife, Carol Kilgus Durgan of the home, along with 3 rescued pups: Little Bit, Buttons, and Mr. T (Tiny). He never denied Carol's need for rescuing pups from the pound. (He put up with a dog on the bed from day one.) He will be met in Heaven by his son, Kevin, and more than 25 rescued pups who lived great lives with his family and passed on in the loving arms of both Jerry and Carol. (Most of whom chewed up many pairs of shoes and several wallets.)
He served his country honorably in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, primarily based in Tripoli. He loved his job as an aircraft mechanic and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant, a job that allowed him the opportunity to take numerous pictures.
After leaving the service, he traveled all over the world with Jerry Brown of TMR (Florida) writing contracts for foreign governments to open education centers, including such places as Mexico, Malaysia, and American Samoa.
He was instrumental in writing the contract to convert Carlisle Military School into Bamberg Job Corps Center, and held several positions at the Center, including Education Director and Center Director.
Jerry also was employed at Gary Job Corps Center (San Marcos) and McKinney Job Corps Center (McKinney), both located in Texas. He spent three years in Samoa, Pago Pago, writing contracts to set up the industrial arts program in all their secondary schools.
Wherever he went he carried a camera. It was like he was "born with a camera in his hand." He worked at the Advertizer-Herald after retirement as a part-time reporter and photographer, as evidenced by the numerous photos on the walls of his home.
The family would like to thank members of Edisto Home Care and Hospice for their expertise, caring and compassion: Danielle Raskins, Jessie Hardison, Brandy Hudson, Lucinda Still, Stephanie Dukes, Elasha Washington, and Liza Miller-Debree. And especially Chaplain David Mitchell who assistance extended far beyond the spiritual.
Special thanks to Kirk Morrell (and his crew) of the First Baptist Church and Nathan Frye of Denmark for their special help when needed
Memorials may be made to MAMAS Animal Shelter, located at 254 Slow Pitch Road, Bamberg, SC 29003.
This Sweetie Pie prays every day that God takes care of her “Mr. Sweetie Pie" as he is now out of pain.