John “Johnny” Durkan, 89, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at St. Vincent Hospital.
Johnny leaves his wife of 58 years, Mary Ellen (Joyce) Durkan, seven children, Teresita Durkan of Worcester, John K. Durkan and his companion, Sarah Gaucher of Leicester, Liam A. Durkan of Webster, Annie M. Hyland and her husband Joseph of Keene, NH, Mary E. Allain and her companion Dave Muskopf of Worcester, Anthony P. Durkan and his wife Patti of Holden and Kevin M. Durkan and his wife, Alissa of Worcester; 18 grandchildren, Valerie DiFabio and her husband Bryan, Michelle and Erin Mullaney and Marc Dulmaine; Brianna, John, Kerri, William Durkan; Kaleigh, Liam, Eamon and Mairead Durkan; Shamus, Justin, Colby and Kelsey Hyland; Cole and Sarah Durkan; a former son-in-law, John Mullaney and his son, Derek Mullaney; two sisters, Teresita and Sr. Sara Durkan, S.S.J both of Dublin Ireland and many nieces and nephews in Ireland and England. Johnny was predeceased by six siblings, Alice Kerrigan, Annie Aldridge, Evelyn Leamy, Nora Gallagher, Rev. Liam Durkan and Anthony Durkan.
Johnny was born in Bunowen, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo, Ireland. He served in the Irish An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil Army from 1946 until 1957 where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. He emigrated from Ireland to “eke out an existence on a foreign shore” and landed in Worcester on May 2, 1957. Soon after, he found employment at Commonwealth Gas Co., where he served the Worcester community for 36 years retiring in May 1993. During this time, Johnny served his new country proudly in the United States Marine Corp for four years and became a citizen in 1963. He never forgot his family and friends back in Ireland and would not miss a year without going back.
Johnny was a member of St. Pius X Church. He loved history, politics, a good debate, and playing handball at Green Hill Park. He also enjoyed spending time at Carowmore Beach, County Mayo, reading on the rocks at Green Harbor, MA, attending his grandchildren’s events, and visiting with friends.
Johnny's visiting hours will be held on Thursday, February 1st from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at CALLAHAN, FAY & CASWELL Funeral Home, 61 Myrtle St., Worcester. His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, February 2nd at 10:00 am at St. Pius X Church, 1161 Main St., Leicester. Johnny will be brought back home to Ireland for burial. The family asks that flowers be omitted and donations be made to the American Heart Assoc. at www.heart.org or to The Shriners Hospital for Children at www.shrinerhosptialforchildren.org