Paul Gregory Durrett (September 14, 1939 — February 24, 2017)
Paul Gregory Durrett (Gregory) was born on September 14, 1939, and died on February 24, 2017. He was the second of four sons born to Ashton Key Durrett and Flora Gregori Durrett. Gregory was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother, Dick Durrett. Gregory is survived by his wife, Joani Northrup and her two sons Keane and Devin; his brothers Ashton (Stacie) and Anthony (Sally); Dick’s widow, Jackie; his niece and nephews; numerous cousins and many friends.
Gregory was a descendant of immigrants — some of his paternal ancestors were Huegonots who came to America from France in the 1600s to escape religious persecution. His maternal ancestors came to America from Italy in the late 1800s to pursue the American Dream. These Italian immigrants made a better life for themselves and their descendants by first toiling in the silver mines and work camps in Leadville and Aspen. Gregory was proud of his immigrant background and the strong family values that were passed down to him through the generations.
A lifelong resident of Glenwood Springs, Gregory lived a full life.
He graduated from Colorado State University in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and in the same year was commissioned an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He served in the military with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea and in Danang during the Vietnam War. He finished his service with the Marines after four years, having achieved the rank of captain.
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After returning to Glenwood Springs, Gregory worked for his relatives at the Buffalo Valley Inn, and he and his brothers subsequently opened and operated the Riverfront Pub on Seventh Street. He and his brother Ashton went on to operate the Italian Underground Restaurant for the next thirty-two years.
Gregory was a hunter, fisherman and a devoted environmentalist. He was passionate about maintaining our quality of life. He advocated diverse public causes and was active in many organizations. He was a founding member of the Crystal Valley Protection Association (CVEPA) and was instrumental in defeating the proposal in the 1970s to place a water diversion dam on the Crystal River at Placita. He served as the chairman of the local Democratic Party, and for many years he was a member of the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission, and the City’s Rivers and Trails Commission. Gregory was a “home boy” who cared deeply about his town and the citizens who dwell here.
Gregory also traveled extensively throughout the world to satisfy his curiosity of different cultures and lifestyles. For the past two decades Gregory spent several months each year at his family’s home in the Piemonte region of Italy.
Gregory had many friends, both here and in Italy, and he will be missed by all. He will be remembered for his wit and sense of humor, but above all for his loyalty, his fairness, and his family values.
A funeral mass for Gregory will be celebrated on Friday, March 3, 2017, at 10:00 am at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs, preceded by a rosary at 9:30 am. Gregory will be interred at the Highland Cemetery in New Castle, Colorado, immediately after the funeral mass. A reception will be held at St. Stephen’s Parish Hall following the internment.
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