Cover photo for Marie Virginia Durst's Obituary
Marie Virginia Durst Profile Photo
1918 Marie 2015

Marie Virginia Durst

November 22, 1918 — September 1, 2015

She first poked her tiny newborn face into this life on the sunny morning of November 22nd, 1918, in her grandmother's house in Blackwell, Oklahoma. She was the second of three daughters of Charles and Margaret Farnum. Marie Virginia Farnum was raised over the border in South Eastern Kansas, where Charlie worked as an oil wildcatter and Margaret kept the home fires burning. After graduating high school in Eureka, Marie studied nursing at Baylor University. When World War II broke out and soon preoccupied the country, she joined the Army Air Corps as a registered nurse and served as a Lieutenant and surgical nurse until just before war's end, stationed in Fort Worth, Texas.It was there, on October 31st, 1944, she met the handsome pilot instructor, Wisconsin born and raised Lieutenant LaVern Durst, who was visiting one of her patients. She agreed to join him that evening at the Halloween party in the Officers' Mess. Wasting little time in the tenuous atmosphere of wartime, they fell in love and were married by the Base chaplain just nine weeks later on January 7th, 1945. Marie would accompany LaVern throughout his corporate career with Kraft Foods, beginning postwar in west central Indiana (1946-'50), followed by stints in Illinois (1950-'60), then California (1960-'70) and back to Illinois until they retired to Palmdale in the high desert of Antelope Valley, Southern California in 1987. Along the way they parented two children, James in November of 1945 and Judith in June of 1948. As LaVern's job would evolve to take him away from home and around the world, it was Marie, the devoted mother, who faithfully attended James' Little League and high school basketball games and both kids' choir concerts. On January 7th, 1995, their children surprised the couple with a 50th Anniversary celebration that featured a 16 piece swing orchestra and a renewal of vows attended by numerous family members and friends from around the country, including several who had attended the original ceremony. Marie and LaVern remained virtually inseparable until November 8th, 2000, when LaVern passed away from complications of prostate cancer. To those who attended Palmdale's First Lutheran Church hers was the first friendly face to greet them each Sunday morning. Marie and Judith moved to Neillsville, Wisconsin in 2009 to be closer to LaVern's roots and his resting place. Marie graduated peacefully from this life at Neillsville Care and Rehab at 12:35pm on September 1st at the age of 96 & 3/4. She is survived by Judith, James and his wife Madhumita Chakrabartti, as well as 2 affectionate 'granddogters,' Holly and Ivy. In accordance with her wishes, Marie was cremated and the ashes interred alongside those of the love of her life, LaVern, in the family plot in the country cemetery in Pine Valley, outside Neillsville. Marie touched so many lives during her earthly experience, was deeply loved by all who knew her, and will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in the name of Marie Virginia Farnum Durst to Clark County Humane Society in Neillsville, Wisconsin.A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, September 5, 2015 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Granton, WI. Pastor Daniel Schoessow will officiate. Military Rites will be accorded by the Neillsville Veteran's Council at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, September 5, 2015 at North Pine Valley Cemetery.Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com. The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Marie's family with Funeral arrangements.Funeral Home:Gesche Funeral Home4 South Grand AvenueNeillsville, WIUS 54456
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marie Virginia Durst, please visit our flower store.

Visits: 3

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree