Logan Herald Journal, 10/28/12
Cove —Merlyn W. Durrant was born Jan. 24, 1927, at the family home in Franklin, Idaho, to Isaac Alma Durrant and Laverne Wickham Durrant. To his parents was born one more child, Merlyn’s sister Mavis (Sharp). Merlyn worked with his father on the family farm. At a young age while helping his father, a slip of a hammer resulted in Merlyn damaging two fingers of his right hand. These fingers were cruelly twisted and somewhat immobile, but that did not affect his many talents and abilities.
Merlyn attended the Franklin school, racking up numerous annual awards for being “neither absent nor tardy.” As World War II progressed and the manufacturing needs of the nation increased, Merlyn and some of his classmates enrolled in a machine shop training program at Utah State Agricultural College, which taught him his lifelong trade as a machinist and tool and die maker. After high school, he worked for the Franklin County Sugar Company. He attended the “AC” for two years, where he played on the Aggie football team.
Dad played cornet in the school band where he reached a level of considerable proficiency. He had a lifelong love of music, preferring classical and jazz.
Through music, Dad met Mom. In a Franklin County marching band, Dad played tuba rather than cornet, and Mom (normally a clarinetist) played snare drums. The drummers marched right in front of the tubas. He came up and asked, “Where’s your sister that plays clarinet?”
Dad and Mom married in the Logan temple on June 4, 1948. Their earthly marriage lasted 64 years. They shared a love of Idaho, camping, travel and music. Their dancing puts all of their children to shame.
They became parents to four children, Roslie, Guy, Russell and Roxanne. They moved to Parma, Idaho, shortly after Guy was born, where they lived for nearly six years. Dad worked at the amalgamated sugar plant in Nyssa, Ore.
He had not given up his dream of finishing college with a degree in manufacturing engineering. In 1957, the family moved first to Bountiful and then Salt Lake City so Dad could return to college at the University of Utah. He worked at McGee and Hogan Machine Works, then attended a full schedule of classes at the U and later worked at Marquardt and Thiokol in Logan. He spent the last years of his career working at Wescor in Logan.
He was ward clerk in three bishoprics, and served as Scoutmaster for several years. He was a High Priest in the Cove Ward.
Dad loved photography. He took many pictures everywhere he traveled, whether on a one-day snowmobile excursion, a week respite in Green Basin, or cross-country with Guy in Canada. He also travelled to Europe with Mom to see her Danish family.
Dad was an intellectual. He and Mom instilled a love of learning and books in their children. Dad would read the dictionary. He loved to read books about Idaho and carefully studied maps of places he had visited and places he wanted to visit. He had an encyclopedic memory of the places he had travelled. He was never lost, no matter how dense the woods or winding the trail.
Dad retired at the age of 65 in 1992. He did not quit working or playing. He had built a shop in the back yard in the early 1970s; he took in machining jobs to earn a bit of extra cash, which paid for the occasional snowmobile or motorcycle. Dad and Mom took many trips, especially to their beloved Idaho, during these years of retirement. Dad also kept active moving sprinkler pipe, mowing a large lawn, growing a garden, tending to fruit trees and caring for his cats. He was still enjoying snowmobile rides as he reached the age of 85.
The final adventure began in July of 2012 when Dad was diagnosed with cancer. He did not look or feel sick and continued his active lifestyle as long as possible.
Dad left this mortal life Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012.
He is survived by his wife Colleen Kjar Durrant of Cove, Utah; children, Roslie Durrant of Cove, Merlyn Guy (Lucille) Durrant of Manila, Utah, Russell Kjar (Janell) Durrant of Whitney, Idaho, and Roxanne (Steven) Fehlauer of Sandy, Utah; and one sister, Mavis Durrant Sharp of Hurricane, Utah. He is also survived by an LDS Indian Placement Program foster daughter, Tina Barbone Paquin; 12 grandchildren, Jerry, Rosemary, Julia, Karin, Laura, Jill, Matthew, Sara, Krista, Morgaine, Ian, Gary; and 11 greatgrandchildren.
We love him. We will miss him until we join him again.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in the Cove Ward LDS chapel. Viewings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the church. Interment will be in the Franklin Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Webb Funeral Home in Preston.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www. webbmortuary.com .