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January 25, 2024
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After 85 years of a life well-lived, Gary Durrence left his earthly home on Thursday, January 25, 2024, with his family by his side.
Gary was born in Tattnall County, Georgia, on April 12, 1938, to Ruby and W. C. Durrence. He graduated from Glennville High School in 1955. He was a star basketball player there and held a school record of scoring 59 points in one game.
In 1956 Gary met the love of his life, Linda, and they married in 1957, shortly before Gary enlisted in the US Air Force and honorably served his country for four years. Gary continued his basketball career while enlisted and eventually received scholarships to play at North Georgia Technical School and Piedmont College. While attending Piedmont College in Demorest, GA Gary was president of his senior class, vice president of his junior class and was a member of the Honor Council. After college, Gary and Linda moved to Clayton, GA where they resided for more than 50 years, and Gary had a successful career with Burlington Industries and as a small business owner while raising a family and making lifelong friends. Gary was supportive of his community and was dedicated to helping others by serving as a member of the Clayton Jaycees, a Paul Harris Fellow in the Clayton Rotary Club, and an ordained deacon of the Clayton Baptist Church.
Gary was a man who unconditionally loved his family and friends. While he enjoyed traveling and seeing new places, he was always happiest on a boat on Lake Burton. His love for history and golf has been passed on to his grandson James. He loved all sports, but none rivaled his passion for the Georgia Bulldogs (he was a DGD) except watching countless football, baseball and soccer games for his grandchildren, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
Gary and Linda later moved to Carrollton, Georgia to be closer to family and are members of First Baptist Church Carrollton. He was preceded in death by his son, Chad, by his parents, sister, and three brothers. Gary is survived by his wife, Linda, of 66 years, his daughter, Kristen Gill and son-in-law, Jay, two grandchildren, James and Adair, sister-in-law Louise Smith with husband Ed, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Visitation will be Saturday, February 3, from 10:00 to 11:30 followed by the memorial service at noon at the Beck Funeral Home in Clayton, Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Durrence Memorial Fund at the North Georgia Community Foundation (NGCF). Checks should be made payable to NGCF and include the Durrence Memorial Fund on the memo line and mailed to 340 Jesse Jewell Parkway SE, Suite 605, Gainesville, GA 30501. Donations to the Fund can also be made online at: https://bit.ly/DurrenceMemorialFund
Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Georgia, is in charge of the arrangements and is honored to serve the family of Gary Durrence. If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at www.beckfuneralhome.com.