Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home
Michel Francois Durand
Phoenix – Michael Francis Durand, 78, of Phoenix, AZ, died Jan. 5, 2022, after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease that also left him blind. He died at Lund House, a Hospice of the Valley facility.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Pat Norton Durand, his sisters Barbara and Mary and his brother Jim, all of Phoenix. His brother Dennis lives in Minnesota. He was predeceased by his parents, Ron and Pat Casey Durand and his brother Ron.
Mike was born on April 27, 1943 in Baldwin, NY. The family moved to Rochester, NY in 1945, then moved to Salem, Ohio in 1954. Mike graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio in 1961. That summer he attended Notre Dame University before to enter Saint Gregory’s and Mount Saint Mary’s seminaries in Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon graduation from seminary in 1965, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Va., when he suffered a serious training accident, putting end of his career in the Corps.
He returned to Cincinnati, attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Arts in 1968. He was awarded the James D. Shouse Award for Academic and Extracurricular Achievement in the Broadcast Arts and television. Mike had interned at a local television station and began a long and illustrious career in the industry, a natural transition from his love of musicals, operettas and plays from primary school to college. .
His work as an account manager took him to New York, Dallas and Chicago, where he met his wife Pat, who also worked in television. They moved to Los Angeles where he was promoted to West Coast Television Sales Manager. His interests were very varied and he was able to satisfy his love of sailing, skiing, all sports, good music, cooking and above all travel.
1985 saw him move to Phoenix to open Channel 45, KUTP for, a huge venture which proved to be very successful. During his tenure, he convinced everyone involved to air Phoenix Suns basketball games on his station, something that had never been done before. He was incredibly successful in his chosen profession and remained in close contact with his colleagues and friends until he was struck down by Alzheimer’s disease.
Mike will be remembered for his kindness, his decency, his generosity, his strength of character, his fabulous sense of humor and his love for his family, his friends and his life. He never met a stranger and was welcoming to everyone he came in contact with.
Mike remained true to his Catholic faith throughout his trials and tribulations and his life will be celebrated at a Memorial Mass at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N. Central Avenue, in Phoenix.
In lieu of flowers, consider making donations to the charity of your choice in Mike’s name.
Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com
Posted on January 11, 2022
Posted in The Arizona Republic