DURBIN M. KEENEY, JR.
DURBIN M. KEENEY JR.
Durbin M. Keeney, Jr. passed away Sunday May 4, 2014.
He was born May 10, 1948 in Cleveland, Ohio to Mary (Oborn) Keeney and Durbin M. Keeney, Sr. and was raised in a foster home for 14 years.
Graduated 1966 at Cleveland Heights High School and was leader of their honor guard. He attended college for two years in Lincoln, Ill. Durbin volunteered for active duty service with the U.S. Air Force in 1969. He was stationed in Duluth from 1969 until 1970 where he met his future wife Diane (Rivers) Keeney at a dance neither wanted to attend. Durbin's served overseas from May 1970-May 1971; station in Bien Hoa with the 3rd Security Police Unit. Returned to the United States and was assigned to flight line security at KI Sawyer AFB in Gwinn, Mich. He married Diane Rivers July 31, 1971. Durbin was Honorably Discharged from the Air Force and returned to Duluth in 1973, after the birth of first child Deanna (Keeney) Lean. After returning to Duluth, Durbin participated in various business and non-profit opportunities, which included insurance, professional photography, selling computers, and fundraising at the Union Gospel Mission. During this time he experienced the birth of two more children: Durbin M. Keeney III and Betty E. Keeney.
Durbin founded the northern chapter Minnesota Assistance for Veterans (MACV) on April 1998 in order to assist homeless veterans and their families. He served as the Regional Director of Development for the organization. Durbin was deeply involved in many community and veteran based organizations. These included the following: Kiwanis International Life Member, George F. Hixson Fellow and Past President and Distinguished Lt. Governor. 20+ year Grandma's marathon volunteer coordinator of runner "sweat bags." He was honored as volunteer of the year in 1999. St. Louis Heritage and Arts Center Depot Board Vice-President, St. Louis County Veterans Representative, Building Committee Member. Life and Board Member of the Northland Vietnam Veterans Association. Served as Outreach and Honor Guard Chair, 24-hour POW/MIA Vigil Organizer and Participant and served on the Vietnam Memorial Committee that resulted with the creation, development, and dedication in 1992. Past Commander and 8th District Legislative Chairman for American Legion Post 71 and Life Member and 8th District Homeless Chair for the VFW Post 137. Member for National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Air Force Association, and the Air Force Security Police Association. Founding and Committee member of Veterans Memorial Hall (VMH) as a program of the St. Louis County Historical Society. Among his many accomplishments, he was instrumental in the Dignity Thru Unity Vietnam Exhibit which was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. April 2011 opening of MACV Housing for homeless veterans. He Retired from MACV September 2011. He served on the Duluth Honor Guard. Involved with the move of the Albert Woolson statue being moved from Canal Park to the Depot. Involved in the fundraising of the Joe Gomer statue at the Airport, and was in the process of helping with the David Wheat project. Board member for Disabled American Veterans MN. Helped organized the Honor Flight Northland Program. Durbin enjoyed traveling, good company, playing terrible golf, and telling good and not so good jokes.
Survived by wife Diane (Rivers) Keeney; daughter Deanna M. (Keeney) Lean; son-in-law Bryan P. Lean; son Durbin M. Keeney III; daughter Betty E. Keeney; granddaughter Isabella H. Keeney, and grandson Durbin M Keeney IV, and his grand dog Rocco. He was well loved by his family and friends.
VISITATION: 10 a.m. Saturday May 10, 2014 until the 11 a.m. Celebration of Life, in Hermantown Community Church. Military Honors will be Accorded by the Duluth Honor Guard. Arrangements by Sunrise Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, Duluth. To leave an online condolence see www.sunrisefuneralhomeandcemetery.com.