November 5, 2009 at 7:44 a.m.
Vonnie Durham died of complications stemming from respiratory failure. Vonnie lived for 69 years and six months and was being cared for at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the time of her death.
Vonnie was born April 28, 1940 in Osceola, WI. Her parents, the late Wallace and Shirley (Cain) Williams, raised her and her brother Robert in and around Taylors Falls, Minnesota. Vonnie attended school in Taylors Falls and was a member of the class of 1958. While Vonnie did not graduate with her classmates, she treasured their lifelong friendships and always looked forward with great anticipation to attending the Taylors Falls school reunions.
In 1956 Vonnie met and fell in love with Dale L. Durham, a young airman stationed at the Osceola Airfield. They were united in marriage on June 1st, 1957 in a small ceremony held at her parents' home. Life as the wife of a military serviceman was both challenging and fulfilling for Vonnie. She soon found herself living in Canada, Alaska, Georgia, and Virginia far from her beloved home in Minnesota. And even though she was separated from her natural family, Vonnie always found it easy to make friends with the people she found around her. She was in reality rarely at a loss for true family.
Vonnie was trained as a beautician and while she was licensed and employed as a stylist for many years her favorite occupation was that of homemaker. She and Dale raised three children - Tammy, Kim, and David. No matter where they lived, Vonnie was fond of teaching her children the importance and value of family. Her favorite holiday was Christmas and she enjoyed decorating her home and taking charge of the family gifts.
After Dale's retirement in 1973, Vonnie and Dale returned to Minnesota and settled down in the town of North Branch. Vonnie continued her involvement in local and civic affairs serving as a volunteer first responder, as a member of the town planning commission and as a member of an early childhood development committee for the North Branch School district.
Vonnie is survived by her husband of 52 years, Dale L. Durham of North Branch, MN; also brother Robert Williams and his wife Jo; her children and their spouses; Tammy (Durham) and Mark Grissman of Anoka, Mn; Kim (Durham) and Dale Anton of Huntsville, AL; and David Durham and LeAnn Oustad of LaPorte, MN: Her grandchildren and great grandchildren: Scott and Amy Anton and Trenton of Huntsville, AL; Letisha (Machalk) and Kristopher Kasper and Joshua, Nicole, and Kohry of Stacy, MN; Laurie (Grissman) and Mark Crowell and Abigail of Ramsey, MN; Kenneth and Alex Anton and Skyler of Ft. Bragg, NC; Lisa Grissman of Forest Lake, MN; Adam Vittera of Ft. Stewart, GA; Christopher Durham of LaPorte, MN; Dustin Durham of LaPorte, MN and MaKala Grissman of Anoka, MN.
Funeral services were held Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009 at the Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch, MN. Interment was Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009 at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Pallbearers: Kit Williams, Chip Williams, Travis Williams, Kristopher Kasper, Adam Vittera, Dustin Durham, Christopher Durham, Mark Crowell, Scott Anton, and Kenneth Anton.
Condolences may be left at www.grandstrandfh.com.