DANBURY, Conn. -- Jim Durham, of Danbury, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 17, following a brief illness. He was 72.
Jim, a native of Munster, Ind., received his B.A. from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., completed his M.A. and did additional graduate work at Indiana University in English and folklore. With a passion and great talent for teaching, Jim was a beloved English teacher at The Browning School in Manhattan for many years. He also taught adult and continuing education in Danbury and worked as a special assignment teacher in New Fairfield.
He founded Durham Educational Enterprises, providing tutoring and SAT preparation for countless private students. Jim also worked for several years in real estate under the leadership of his mentor and friend, John Ashkar. While a graduate student at Indiana University, Jim and Elliott Oring founded and edited a publication titled Folklore Forum. Frank de Caro became part of the editorial board, and together they made a major and ongoing contribution to national folklore studies. Jim loved Wabash College, and in 2013, he was honored with an Alumni-Admissions Fellow Award. He also received the Warren Shearer Class Agent Award in appreciation of his tireless efforts to communicate with his former classmates. Jim enjoyed playing golf, and his golf buddy Lewis Zurlo said they always played by Jim's rules – "A good shot by either one of them counted. A bad shot could be taken over again."
Jim will be remembered for his keen sense of humor and his infectious laugh, his intelligence, his compassion and his love for animals. Jim is survived by his mother, Hazel Durham; his sister, Virginia Durham Cantwell; his niece, Nina Anthony, and her family; his former wife, Marcy Carreras; and his many friends, including Terri Rousseau, Bill Leukhardt, Lewis Zurlo, Ron and Mary Bond, John Flournoy, Frank and Rosan de Caro, Elliott Oring, Roger Galuska, John and Ruth Ashkar, Joe Saffi, Ron Nichols, Tom Runge, Bill Moore and many others. A memorial service will be held in mid-July in Danbury. Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury, is in charge of arrangements.
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