N. Grosvenordale-Roland J. “Shorty” Durand, 92, passed away April 27, 2013 at Matulitis Nursing Home in Putnam CT. He was born at his parents’ home in North Grosvenordale, he was the son of the late Philip & Rose Alma (Mandeville) Durand.
Roland left trade school early and worked full time to support his mother and younger siblings, before for joining the Army Air Force at age 18. He trained to be a Sperry Ball and Martin upper gunner on B17’s, but was grounded by a severe knee injury during parachuting practice. After almost a year in Military hospitals, no specialist could be found to repair his knee. He was told if he could walk out of the hospital on his own he could go home, to which he grabbed a cane and walked out. He was honorable discharged in 1941.
Roland worked as a shipper/receiver for Simonds Inc. in Southbridge Mass, until his retirement at age 79. He never took a sick day and never missed an opportunity for overtime. Even at work he was better known as Shorty or Uncle Shorty. He was a life long parishioner of St. Joseph’s Church, a member of St. Bernards Council 2087 Knights of Columbus, the American Legion and the Community Fire Department.
He was an extremely hard worker, who excelled at doing his own car repairs, plumbing, electrical and carpentry and made sure his children learned all of his skills. He never let his damaged knee or arthritis stop him from working or completing a project at home, and once done, he enjoying his hobbies and weekend adventures with his children. His dedication to his family was insurmountable.
His love for the outdoors included horseback riding, motorcycling, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, camping, Nascar, Modifieds, and motorcycle racing at Laconia. It was a common sight for him to come home from work on a Friday night, and head out on weekend adventure. His truck cab was always equipped with a pillow and sleeping bag. No matter where he went, he always made sure he knew where the closest church was, and the mass times. His family is at peace knowing his adventures will now be with the Lord.
Roland is survived by his sons, Ronald Durand and his wife Donna, Raymond Durand and his wife Sue, David Durand and his wife Lisa; his daughter Paula Ramos and her husband David; his sisters, Doris Boutin and Evelyn Rogers; seven grandchildren, Ray Jr., Tony, Amanda, Laura, Megan, Sara and Dominick; five great grandchildren Jenna, Antonio, Elijah and two baby boys due in May. He was predeceased by his daughter Pauline Durand and by his brothers Conrad Durand, Fredrick Durand, Lineal Durand, and Robert Durand.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Roland’s family from 5:00 to 8:00pm, Thursday May 2, 2013 in the Valade Funeral Home, 23 Main St., N. Grosvenordale CT. A gathering will begin at 9:00 am Friday, May 3, 2013 in the funeral home followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am in St. JosephChurch, 18 Main St., N. Grosvenordale. Burial with military honors will follow in St. JosephCemetery. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.