Kenneth Leroy Durrance of Gainesville went home to Jesus & to reunite with the love of his life, Mary, on January 27, 2022. He was a 70-year resident of Alachua County, a 4th generation Floridian, born in Brewster, Polk County, Florida, Dec. 30, 1927 to Leslie & Angie Parrish Durrance, Pierce, FL.
He graduated Mulberry High School in 1945, joined the United States Navy and was a member of the Underwater Demolition Team (“UDT”), a precursor to the Navy Seals. Following the Navy, he attended Rollins College & University of Tampa on football scholarships, playing half back. He married his beloved wife of 67 years, Mary McDonald, Feb. 24, 1951 and moved to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida studying Animal Science. After graduation, he started his career as an agricultural extension agent for Polk County in Bartow, FL. He was called back to UF as an Assistant Professor of Animal Science specializing in Swine Production. After earning his Masters degree, he was promoted to a full Professor where he worked until his retirement in 1986.
Ken & Mary bought a farm on Wacahoota Road, Micanopy, FL where they lived for 40 years & raised their 2 children, Glenna & Tommy. During that time, they raised hogs and beef cattle on the farm until returning to Gainesville in 1997.
Ken was a member of the UF Alumni Association, Gator Boosters and a long- time fan of all Gator Sports.
He is survived by his daughter Glenna Venoy Spiegel (Geoff Spiegel), son Tommy Durrance (Jill Durrance), beloved grandchildren Lauren Venoy, Chris Venoy, Kristen McCann (Sean McCann) Cole, Noah, and Madison Durrance and Great grandson Beau McCann & numerous extended family.
He is preceded by his beloved wife, Mary, his parents, 3 brothers: Richard, Morris & Freeman Durrance & 2 sisters: Ruth Simpson & Mabel Sweat.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to either: Florida 4H Animal Science Youth Programs, send to UF Foundation, for 4-H Advancement, Attn: Durrance Memorial, POB 110170, Gainesville, FL 32611, online, tinyurl.com/4Hdurrance or
Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32606, online, [email protected]
Visitation Thurs. Feb 3rd, 2022 from 6-8 pm, Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 725 NW 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609. Graveside services with full military honors, Fri. Feb 4th, 2022, 2 pm, Florida National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd Ave, Bushnell, FL 33513, with Pastor Calvin Carr, officiating.