P. Duryea, USAF Colonel (Ret.)

Cecil, 92, son of Frances and Cecil P. Duryea, Sr. passed away on Sunday, November 5, 2017, at the Colonial Acres Nursing Home in Humboldt. He was born in Dawson on Oct. 24, 1925.

It was there that he attended the Dawson Schools, graduating in the Class 1944. Because Paul was called early for the Service, he missed his own graduation, but was later awarded a special presidential diploma. Paul enlisted in the Army Air Force and was selected for a Flight Training Program. After his shortened tour as a Flight Cadet, he was honorably discharged after the end of World War II. He then enrolled in the University of Nebraska school of business using the G.I. Bill of Rights. Paul graduated in 1950 with a B.A. Degree and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the new United States Air Force. Next came Flight School in Waco, Texas checking out in the T-6, but not before marrying his wife Polly on May 19, 1949. From that time on he became a jet-fighter pilot moving from one Air Force base to another. Paul had two remote tours, one to Iceland on the Dew Line in 1952, and another to Seoul Korea in 1963. He earned an MBA at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio in 1957.

Paul was a life-long member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dawson, serving as Lector and Deacon. He was a member of the Nebraska Oblates, Nebraska Society of Mayflower Descendants, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at the University, The American Legion, and the Humboldt Rotary Club. He was an avid Husker fan and served on the Humboldt City Council. Paul was devoted to his family of seven children who grew up listening to the jazz music of Woody Herman, Count Basie, and Frank Sinatra.

The entire family always enjoyed meeting at the Y-camp in Estes Park, Colorado every summer. He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Christine, and two brothers, Donald Riley Duryea and Eugene Jay Duryea. Paul is survived by his wife of sixty-eight years Polly Duryea of Humboldt; six adult children; Charles Duryea of Humboldt; Dr. Mary Duryea Kraemer and husband Dr. Edwin Kraemer of Lee’s Summit MO; Peter Duryea, and Joe and Catherine Duryea, all of Omaha; a daughter,  Anne Duryea Sweet and her husband Don Arones of Phoenix AZ; and Catherine Duryea Ramos and husband Michael Ramos of Lincoln. Honorary Pallbearers are Paul’s grandsons, Daniel (Heather) Duryea-Humbold; Seth, Alex (Rachel), and JP Duryea of Omaha; Karl Kraemer and Kellen Duryea-Kansas City MO; and Ray Ramos-Lincoln. Paul’s granddaughters will act as special attendants. They are Emily Duryea (Marshall) Meidl, Laura Duryea (William) Pierce; Kelsey Kraemer (Dr. John) Underwood, and Tessa Kraemer; USAF Cadet Simone Duryea and her sister Camille; Mary Clare Sweet (Alex) Hook, Chloe Sweet (James) Hasselbalch, Cecily Sweet; and Elise Duryea; Nine great-grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 11 2017, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dawson, Nebraska with Father Michael McCabe, Father Thomas Dunavan and Father Nicholas Baker officiating. Interment was in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Dawson, Nebraska with full military honors conducted by the Offutt Air Force Honor Guard, the Harvey-Mann Legion Post #269, and a special T-6 fly over.

Memorial contributions are suggested to: The Arbor Day Foundation of Nebraska and/or The Wounded Warriors Project.

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