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James ‘Jim’ Durell Leon

Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 9:55 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:09 a.m. CST

James “Jim” Durell, 81 of Leon died April 29, 2014, at Decatur County Hospital in Leon.

Funeral services were 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 5, at Slade-O’Donnell Funeral Home in Leon. The Rev. Max Carmichael officiated. Burial was in Leon Cemetery with military honors conducted by Cowl-Scott American Legion Post No. 80 of Leon. A memorial fund has been established by the family.

James Daniel “Jim” Durell, son of Louie Sindia Evelyn (Bronson) and Alvie Daniel Durell, was born June 30, 1932, at their farm home in rural Eden Township, Decatur County.

Jim attended West Eden Country School and then graduated from Leon High School in 1950.

On Sept. 3, 1953, Jim married Barbara Ann Ross in Des Moines.

Jim farmed and worked construction as a young man.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from Aug. 8, 1952, until his honorable discharge on Aug. 7, 1954. Barbara joined him at Fort Ord, Calif., where Jim was a typist and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

The family made their home in rural Leon, where Jim farmed. In addition to farming, he was Decatur County deputy clerk of court and dispatcher for the Leon Sheriff’s Department.

When countywide law enforcement began in 1974, Jim was one of the eight original deputies and attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Jim served as a deputy sheriff until retiring in 1995. He then continued to serve papers when needed.

Jim was a member of Cowl-Scott American Legion Post No. 80 of Leon and lifetime member of the NRA.

Jim and Barbara regularly attended the Calvary Baptist Church.

Jim was a bookkeeper at Stewart’s Furnitureland, where he became half-owner in 1981. He operated the store for a number of years.

Jim is survived by his wife Barbara Durell of Leon; children, Sharon Durell, Mike (wife Charletta) Durell and Dan (wife Toni) Durell, all of Leon; grandchildren, Jordan (Tiffany) Durell and Lucas Durell, Marci (Nathan) White and Daren (Megan) Durell, Lindsey (Jeromey) Jones, Ben Durell, Rachel (Jimmy) Christofis and Nick Durell; great-grandchildren, Evan Durell and one on the way, Loralie and Sylvie White and Remington and Booker Christofis and one on the way; sisters, Pauline Baker of Corydon and Kathryn Hughes of Leon; nieces and nephews; and other relatives and many friends.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; brother Billy; sisters, Helen Nussbaum and Marjorie Carson; and brothers-in-law, Earl Nussbaum, Dick Baker and Richard Carson.

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