Captain Durbin was born in watertight Louisiana. He was the first son (number seven) of ten children of Florence and Lanius Durbin.
Captain Durbin studied at Louisiana State University. After seeing a “Fly Navy” sign, Captain Durbin entered the US Navy as a naval aviation cadet in October 1960. After completing flight training in April 1962, he was commissioned an ensign and designated naval aviator, in New Iberia, Louisiana. .
In 1967 Captain Durbin married Myra Carter. Captain Durbin received his bachelor’s degree from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California. In January 1975, Captain Durbin completed the transition from the jet and in August 1980, he assumed the position of “Air Boss” on the USS Forrestal (CV-59). Captain Durbin assumed command of the USS Okinawa in 1986. On December 26, 1987, comedian Bob Hope performed as part of the USO Holiday show aboard the USS Okinawa while patrolling the Gulf Persian. In addition to various unit, service and campaign awards, he wore the Meritorious Service Medal.
After retiring from the Navy, Captain Durbin served as president of Foundation College for four years. Captain Durbin was predeceased by his parents; sisters Marilyn, Flo, Peewee, Cora, Kate, Lola and Barbara; brothers-in-law Lee, Jim P, Harry, Jim C, Raymond and Brock; sister-in-law Pat.
He is survived by his wife Kay, brother Larry, sister Terry (husband Steve), son JC (wife Jackie), daughter DD (husband Scott), daughters-in-law Carrie (husband Jason) and Nicole (husband Craig) and his beloved grandchildren: Saorise, Siofra, Reed, Laura, Chloe, Allie (husband Trevor), Amanda, Cole and great-grandchildren: Sessanie, Marley and Kasper. Many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and great-great-nieces and great-great-great-nephews.
Captain Durbin’s celebration of life will be held on Thursday, November 3 at the Pacific Beach La Jolla Chapel. The military service will take place on Friday, November 4 at the Miramar National Cemetery.
Gone, but not forgotten…we will miss you.
FLIGHT. 112, NO. October 43 – 26, 2022