John L Durkee

It is with great sadness that we share the loss of our friend & fellow Optimist

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the loss of our friend and fellow Optimist John L. Durkee. 

John L. Durkee, 78, of Wausau, passed away on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at home.

He was born to the late Kanter and Enid (Roloff) Durkee in Wausau on October 10, 1942 and grew up in Mosinee.  He met his future wife, Suzanne Dey, while attending U.W. – LaCrosse.  They were married on April 14, 1962 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

John excelled in sports, playing basketball, football, and running track in high school.  He played softball for many years in his adult life.  He enjoyed hunting in South Dakota, fishing in Canada, and camping.  He especially enjoyed the family reunions at Lake DuBay.

He was a member of the Wausau Wine Club and was very well-known for his wines.  John was involved in his church, Our Savior’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wausau.  He served as an usher, President of the Church Council, and volunteered at the school.  John also was a member of the Wausau Noon Optimist Club and was very fond of the members.

Survivors include his wife, Suzanne; three children, Mindy (Gary) Randall, Mike Durkee, and Mitch Durkee; grandchildren, Derek, Hayley (Katy), Travis, Brenden, and Allyson; great-granddaughter, Emeriee; brother, Richard (Bliss) of Rock Hill, South Carolina; and sister, Sally Pecha of Kaukauna, Wisconsin.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Melissa Jean; parents, Kanter and Enid Durkee; and sister, Margo Budnik.

The public visitation will be on Friday, November 6, 2020 beginning at 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams Street, Wausau.  There will be a private family service and burial on Saturday, November 7, 2020.  The service will be available for viewing on the website at a later time.

You may sign the family guestbook at

Due to current recommendations masks are required and social distancing will be observed.

Please feel free to share a comment or story to memorialize John

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