Former Hamilton assistant fire chief, a WWII veteran, dies

After his time in the Navy and fighting during World War II, Don Durrough got a job at Fisher Body in Fairfield, though that career path didn’t last long.

A year later, he left Fisher Body to join the family profession and become firefighter. He was a third-generation firefighter, and worked for the city of Hamilton for 32 years, ending his long career as an assistant fire chief. Durrough died on Friday. He was 94 years old.

Durrough was born on July 19, 1928, in Hamiton and married his high school sweetheart, Faye (nee Dwyer), in December 1948. But prior to his marriage, Durrough joined the Navy as an aircraft mechanic and was stationed in Guam during World War II. After his service, he received his commercial pilot’s license but never pursued a career as a pilot.

He did join the Civil Air Patrol as a search and rescue pilot and started the American Flyers Pilot Club with several friends.

ExploreCONDOLENCES: Offer your condolences to the family of Don Durrough

After retiring from the Hamilton Fire Department in 1982, The Durroughs joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Florida as Flotilla Commanders. Throughout their 25-years of service, they taught boating safety classes, completed vessel safety checks, and were lighthouse keepers at the Coast Guard Light Station in the Dry Tortugas.

Though he was proud of his work as a firefighter, his family said his “most cherished and proudest moments” were among his family and friends.

“He was always a very active family man who loved entertaining with Faye by his side at their house, the Hamilton Boat Club, and at their island on the Ohio River in Indiana,” his family said.

Don and Faye Durrough did nearly everything together, including hosting several events on the island, like chicken frys, fish frys, and a spaghetti fest that were enjoyed by their houseboating friends and family.

Durrough was married to his wife for more than 70 years, and both traveled around the country as they loved flying, dancing, and attending weekend pool parties at their son’s house. They were also snowbirds, going to Florida during the winter months over a 40-plus-year span.

“He will certainly be missed by family and friends and was an inspiration, mentor, and role model to many,” his family said.

Durrough is survived by his son Steve (Paula) Durrough; grandchildren Kevin (Courtney) Durrough and Jennifer (Nick) Wetta; great-grandchildren Kaylee, Harley, and Logan; and his niece Terri (Jim) Brown.

His wife, Faye, proceeded him in death. She died in July 2019 at the age of 90.

A visitation is planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday at Webster Funeral Home, 3080 Homeward Way off Ohio 4. The funeral service is scheduled for noon on Saturday. Burial to follow with full military honors and the Hamilton Firefighters Final Bell Ceremony in Rose Hill Burial Park.

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