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Edward J. 'Jim' Durkee, 69

MEREDITH — Edward James "Jim" Durkee of Meredith, passed away peacefully at Lakes Region General Hospital, on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 after an unexpected illness.

Born August 18th, 1944 in Montague, Mass., he was the son of Clement and Mary Bevis Durkee. Jim was raised in Athol, Mass., graduating from Athol High School in 1962. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education from Plymouth State College, and a Masters Degree in Physical Education from Springfield College.

Jim settled with his wife, Paulette, in Meredith, N.H. where he accepted a position as a physical education teacher at Inter-Lakes High School in 1967. He remained in this role until his retirement from the school system in 2009.

Jim dedicated his life to the service of others. Along with coaching an assortment of sports teams within the Inter-Lakes School District for 45 years, he also served as Meredith's Recreation Director during the summer for many years. He was well known for his endless devotion to the local community where he served various roles working with area youth on the athletic field. Everyone who knew Jim was touched by his kindness, character, and integrity. Working with, and mentoring young adults was Jim's fundamental mission in life. He believed that, regardless of skill level, any kid that showed a passion to learn, and a willingness to seek personal improvement should be granted the ultimate gift a coach can provide: opportunity. Jim coached many successful teams, but he always believed that winning should not come at the expense of character. He did not seek recognition for his accomplishments, but his induction to the Walter A. Smith Coaches Hall of Fame was one of his proudest moments.

Above all else, Jim was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was a man that unconditionally loved all members of his immediate and extended family. He knew no greater joy than raising his own children and experiencing the lives they have made for themselves. In retirement, he welcomed the newly earned role of grandfather and embraced the opportunity to watch his grandson grow; excitedly supplying him with all the athletic equipment he will need in his formative years.

He is predeceased by his parents Clement and Mary, and his brother, Richard.

Jim is survived by his wife of 44 years, Paulette; son Matthew and wife Meghan Durkee of Epping, daughter Leigh and husband Christopher Hislop of Newmarket; one grandchild, William James Hislop; one brother John Durkee of Attleboro, Mass.; several brothers and sisters in-law, along with many nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held at Mayhew Funeral Home (Routes 3 and 104), Meredith on Sunday, April 27, 2014 from 2 p.m. through 5 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim's memory can be made to the Meredith Parks and Recreation "Program Scholarships" fund. The monies will be allocated to less fortunate children, enabling them the opportunity to participate in the recreation programs. Checks should be made payable to "Town of Meredith" with "Program Scholarships" in the memo field and sent to Meredith Parks and Recreation, 1 Circle Drive, Meredith, NH 03253.

Mayhew Funeral Homes & Crematorium of Meredith and Plymouth are handling the arrangements. For Jim's Book of Memories: www.mayhewfuneralhomes.com

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