Thomas Michael Durand
Born: Aug 30, 1940
Died: Feb 23, 2016
Thomas M. Durand (“Ake’chita Was’te”, “Good Soldier”) died of natural causes on February 23, 2016 in Benefis Hospital in Great Falls. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook, MT. A memorial service will be held May 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm at the United Methodist Church in Harlem. Burial will be in the Harlem Cemetery.
Thomas passed away surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with diabetes and congestive heart failure. He was born on August 30, 1940 to Florence and August Durand in Wolf Point, Montana. He was raised and educated in Harlem, Montana, graduating in 1959 from Harlem High School. After high school he attended Great Falls Community College, taking business courses. He was drafted into the Army on December 15, 1961. Thomas served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and was stationed in Germany and Cambodia. He was Honorably Discharged on March 27, 1965. After his discharge from the army, he worked at the Great Northern Railway. In 1967. He became the bookkeeper/accountant for a company in Louisville, Kentucky. Then in 1968-1969 he became the bookkeeper/accountant for a company in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He started working for the Southern Railway as an agent/operator until 1972. In 1973-1974, he worked for International Harvester as a core setter in Louisville, Kentucky. After that, he worked in construction until he was hired as a brakeman/conductor on the Burlington Northern Railway in 1976. He retired in 1998 due to an injury, having worked nearly 40 years for the railroad.
Thomas married the love of his life, Gladys Conner on November 5, 1978. Together they made their home in Havre and at Duck Lake, Mt. He enjoyed outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting. He particularly love to follow and support the Harlem Wildcats basketball teams. He was recognized as an “outstanding fan” by the Montana High School Association.
He was preceded in death by his brother Wilbur Red Stone, his parents Florence and August Durand and sister, Charlene Leo. Thomas is survived by his wife of 37 years, Gladys Durand, his stepdaughters Susan (Jerry) Moriarty of Auburn Washington, and Kay (Dan) Rogers of Spanaway, Washington Also surviving him are grandchildren Christine, Jennifer, Jerry, Danny, Tiffany, David, Brittany and Rex. His sisters Delores Snow of Harlem and Norma Garcia of Nampa, Idaho as well as loving in laws, several nieces and nephews and many special friends survive Thomas. “Saba” his devoted dog companion also survives.
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Edwards Funeral Home ♦ 500 Indiana Street, Chinook, MT 59523 ♦ 406-357-2529