Peter's Story

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“Pete” Durso joined his loving wife in heaven just six days after his 93rd birthday. Peter S. Durso was born April 23, 1923. There will be a Celebration of Life service at his earthly house of worship, Southern Hills Baptist Church, 8601 S. Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73159 on May the 28th at 2 p.m. Friends and family are invited. Pete was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to immigrant parents Salvatore and Natalina Durso. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 and fought with bravery in WWII. He received a Certificate of Recognition in 2002 from then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for his service to the USA during the Cold War (1945-1991). He flew several mercy missions as WWII was ending which led to his being awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal in September of 2015 by the French Ambassador. Pete retired as a Major from the U.S. Air Force in 1983 after serving 40 years. It was during his early Air Force training that he was stationed in Ada, Oklahoma and there he met Doris J. Jones who would become his bride. They were 2 months shy of their 69th anniversary when Doris passed away in 2014. Pete and Doris owned their own business in Pauls Valley, OK, where they were agents for Atlas Van Lines, Inc. for 31 years. Pete was a graduate of Long Island University, with a BA in Business Administration. Pete served his country and community through numerous service organizations. He was a member of the International Order of the Odd Fellows (55 years). He served as a Pauls Valley City Councilman for 16 years. He also held many positions in civic service. He was a member of the Southern Oklahoma Development Association (SODA), Pauls Valley and Garvin County Civil Defense Manager and received a Governors Commendation for 20 years of service. He was the Garvin County Emergency Management Director for over 20 years and achieved professional certification as an Oklahoma Emergency Manager. In 2009 the Dursos retired to Oklahoma City. Pete is survived by his four children: Carole (Forrest) LaRue of Choctaw, OK, Sal (Diane) Durso of Phoenix, AZ, Cathy (Steve) Howerton of Huntington, WV, and Andrea (Johnny) Riddle of Keller, TX. His grandchildren include Laura LaRue of Edmond, OK, Lance (Carrie) LaRue of Choctaw, OK, David and Elizabeth Durso of Phoenix, AZ, Jesse, Seth, and William Howerton of Huntington, WV, and great-grandchildren Sierra Brown of Colorado and Jacob and Lauryn Larue of Choctaw. He is also survived by his sister Anna Mastellone of Long Island, NY, and nephews James Mastellone and Tom (Carol) Mastellone and one niece Jean Pappaeliou all of New York.
Published on  May 17, 2016
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