Lt. Col. (Ret.) George Edwin Durham

Published 9:13 am Friday, July 14, 2017

THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Lt. Col. (Ret.) George Edwin Durham, 77, passed away peacefully at his home Wednesday morning, July 12, 2017.

Visitation will be Saturday, July 15, 2017, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Forest Park The Woodlands Funeral Home, The Woodlands, Texas.

A funeral service will be held immediately after the visitation followed by interment at Forest Park The Woodlands Cemetery.

Lt. Col. Durham was born May 14, 1940, in Brookhaven, to Lt. Col. Thomas and Estelle Durham. He graduated from Brookhaven High School in 1958, Mississippi State University in 1962, and earned a master’s degree from Boston University in 1974.

Lt. Col. Durham was a military spy serving as a counter intelligence officer for over 21 years, and a tactical intelligence officer for over 10 years in the U.S. Army. He served three tours in Vietnam, 1965, 1969, and 1971.

He was director of the U.S. Army Rapid Deployment Force/U.S. Army Counter Terrorist Unit at Central Command. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Bronze Star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (OLC), Armed Forces Honor Medal (1st Class), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and two Overseas Service Ribbons.

George and Peggy loved their family and hosting family and friends in their home. George loved hunting, and especially being in a duck blind and goose field with friends and family. He lived abroad with his family in Belgium, Italy, Germany, and in the U.S. in Mississippi, Arizona, Texas, California, Florida, Maryland, Louisiana and Georgia. 

He is preceded in death by his wife, Peggy Gastrell Durham; his parents, Col. (Ret.) Thomas F. Durham Jr. and Estelle Western Durham; Samuel Gastrell and Maxie Raines Gastrell; brothers-in-law Bobby Burress and James Corbett.

He is survived by his children, George Edwin “Ged” Durham Jr. and Kelly Durham Sowda and husband Chris; brother, Lt. Col. Thomas F. Durham Sr. and wife Frances; sister, Deanna Durham Burress; sisters-in-law, Patricia Gastrell Corbett and Joyce Hill Johnson and husband Ken; brother-in-law Gregory Samuel Gastrell and wife Diane; grandchildren, Taylor Aleen (Ali) Sowda, Kadie Elyse Durham, George Edwin (Ty) Durham, III, Cheyenne Saunders Sowda; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Honorary pallbearers will be Dave Berry, Al Bingham, Tommy Daniels, Jason Daniels, Paul Koestler, Norville Parsell, John Vaughn, Keith Word.

Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society.