Fred Torkelson Durnell

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fred Torkelson Durnell, 88, of Moundville, Mo., passed away on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at Freeman Health System West, Joplin, Mo.

The oldest of eight children, Fred was born April 24, 1922, in Cabool, Mo., to Trevor and Verbal Durnell. He attended school in Cabool. He learned to milk cows at the tender age of six, helping on the family farm by completing chores before and after school each day.

Fred married Eunice Hicks July 22, 1944, in Independence, Kan. To this union was born one child, Fred Allen Durnell. Fred T. and his young family moved to Knox, Ind., in 1947. They later moved to Moundville, Mo., in 1955 to help on the Hicks family farm, where they ran a dairy and raised hogs. In addition, Fred worked at Bronaugh MFA for two years. Following an accident, he quit milking, but continued to raise cattle and hogs at the Moundville farm. He and Eunice enjoyed 60 years of marriage before her death in August of 2004.

Fred retired at age 75 and enjoyed watching neighbors' cattle on his place in his retirement years. He was an avid outdoorsman, who even in later years loved taking drives through rural areas to look at nearby crops and livestock. Known to family as "Gramps," he was a devoted grandfather to his two grandsons, living nearby as the boys grew to adulthood. Fred treasured his great-grandchildren especially, surprising them often with letters in the mail and treats he kept on hand in the pantry. Fred was a member of the Moundville United Methodist Church. Neighbors and friends alike knew he enjoyed a good visit, though usually he was a man of few words.

Survivors include his son, Fred A. Durnell and daughter-in-law, Carolyn, Moundville, Mo.; grandsons, Mike Durnell and his wife, Suzan, El Dorado Springs, Mo., and Steve Durnell and his girlfriend, Frederica Weaver, Milo, Mo.; great-grandchildren, Hali, Jenna and Tessa; one brother, Earl Durnell and sister-in-law, Emily, Cabool, Mo. Fred was preceded in death by his wife, Eunice; sisters, Delpha, Maxine, Maderine and Pearl; and brothers, Grover and Amo.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 18, at Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, with Ed Post officiating. Interment will follow at Deerfield Cemetery, Deerfield, Mo.

Friends may call now and until the hour of service at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada.

Contribution may be made in his memory, to the Deerfield Cemetery Association in care of Ferry Funeral Home, 301 S. Washington, Nevada.

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