Robert L. Duren, 90, of Duncan passed away on July 20, 2020. Robert was born on January 23, 1930 in Roaring Springs, TX to Joseph Matthew Duren and Mamie Delcina Eppinette Duren. He joined step-brothers Hubert Gunter, Harold Gunter and Francis Gunter and step-sister Estelle Gunter (Mize) in a loving and fun family. Robert accepted Christ in 1942 during Vacation Bible School at the First Baptist Church of Roaring Springs. He played football in high school, ran the movie projector at the Roaring Springs Theater, worked as a lifeguard at the Roaring Springs, picked cotton and worked with his father at the Red Ball Cotton Gin in town.
He joined the Air Force in 1950 and served in the Strategic Air Command. He was assigned to the Atomic Weapons Unit at Sandia Base in Albuquerque, NM and the unit was deployed to Guam during the Korean War. He attained the rank of Master Sergeant. For his 21st birthday he received a birthday card from a young lady in Duncan, OK named Frankie Burgin. She had been visiting with her cousin who was married to Robert’s sister and decided to write him since he was overseas. That correspondence led to a long mail courtship and they were married on April 25, 1953 when Robert was home on leave.
Robert left the Air Force in 1954 and began working for Sims Construction in Duncan which led to the family’s transfer to Farmington, NM in 1956. The family moved back to Duncan in 1961 to be closer to Frankie’s relatives. Robert began working for Vaughn and Fortner Accounting firm and was with Walt Fortner until the sale of the practice. He continued his education at the University of Oklahoma in Accounting, Audit and Income Tax. He then was employed by LaWayne Jones from 1979 until his death and also prepared income tax returns for family and multiple friends. During his time in Duncan he was active in the Duncan Noon Lions Club serving as President. He also served on the Liberty School and Comanche School boards for 25 years and was past President of the Comanche School Board. He was part owner of the hospitals in Duncan that eventually sold to what is now Duncan Regional Hospital. At his passing he was part owner, Director and Corporate Secretary of First Bank & Trust Co and was pivotal in the institution’s growth into markets in Waurika, Healdton, Ardmore, Norman and Edmond.
He enjoyed watching the Sooners play football, cheering for the OKC Thunder and espousing his philosophy about the importance of free throw shooting in basketball. Working around the house and taking care of his yard was his favorite hobby.
Robert was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church since the move back to Duncan in 1961 serving as deacon, treasurer and Sunday School teacher. He enjoyed singing in the choir and in a gospel quartet with Frankie and good friends James and Joy Davis. His life verses were Proverbs 3:5-6.
He is survived by his sons, Barry Duren and wife Tanya of Duncan and Brad Duren and wife Melissa of Goodwell, OK. The light of his life was his 4 grandsons: Joseph Tyler Randolph of Oklahoma City, Ross Duren and wife Elizabeth of Oklahoma City, and Benjamin and Joe Duren of Guymon. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers and sister and by his wife Frankie in 2015.
His impact on the community of Duncan and on the many people he came in contact with cannot be measured. In lieu of flowers the family asks for contributions to be made to Chisholm Trail Hospice or Calvary Baptist Church P.O. Box 777 Duncan, OK 73534.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday, July 24, from 5:30-7:00 P.M. at Whitt Funeral Home. Funeral services will be on Saturday, July 25, at 10:00 A.M. at Calvary Baptist Church with Barry Duren, Brad Duren, and Pastor Mike Peercy officiating. To watch online: https://www.facebook.com/events/608532526747929/. Interment will follow in the Duncan Municipal Cemetery under the direction of Whitt Funeral Home. PLEASE NOTE: The family is respectfully requesting that attendees wear face masks to the visitation and the funeral service.
Serving as pallbearers will be Ross Duren, Ben Duren, Joe Duren, Tyler Randolph, Danny McGuire, and Scott Farris.
Online condolences can be made to the family at www.whittfh.com.
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