May 1, 1928 - June 29, 2017
On June 29th, 2017 our loving husband, father and grandfather, after living an adventuresome and fulfilling life, passed away peacefully at his home in Napa. Calvin Laird Durham, Jr., known to all as Laird, was born on May 1, 1928 in Lynchburg, VA to Calvin Laird Durham and Margaret Gould Durham. Laird grew up in Cincinnati, OH and attended Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, where he earned a degree in English. After graduation, Laird married Marilyn Schneider in 1950, and they became proud parents to four children: Frank, Thomas, Sue and Christopher. Marilyn passed away in 1994. His long and distinguished career included jobs with General Electric, Aerojet-General and Arthur D. Little Company. In 1971 he opened his own business, Laird Durham Company, which provided marketing research and consulting services to several companies large and small. It was his employment with Aerojet-General which brought Laird, Marilyn and their children to the Bay Area where he developed a life-long affection with Northern California. His favorite pastimes included sailing in the San Francisco Bay, skiing Heavenly Valley at Tahoe, exploring the vineyards and wineries of Napa Valley, and most importantly, activities with his family. Laird and Judy were married in August 1996, and have resided in Napa for most of their married life. Laird was a student of the world and found interest in many things including: sailing, boating, skiing, camping, fishing, reading, card playing, gardening, cooking and writing. At his home in Napa, you could often find Laird out in the yard planting flowers and vegetables, or feeding the many birds that would flock to his garden. Along with his many activities, Laird loved meeting new people. He took time to get to know them and hear their stories. Often, Laird found these encounters fascinating enough to write and published articles about them in local newspapers and magazines. He is also a published author: “100 Careers: How to Pick the One That's Best for You” came out in 1977 and is still in print. And, he LOVED a good heated “discussion!” Laird is survived by his wife Judy Durham, sister Anne (Sal) Giardina, brother Frank Gould Durham, sons Frank (Barb) Durham, Christopher (Suzanne) Durham, daughter Sue (Phil) Ortez, 5 grandchildren—Austin and Mikala Durham, Alexandra and Jon Phillip Ortez, and Marissa Ann Durham. He also has 5 step-children and 8 step grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his mother Margaret Durham, father Calvin Laird Durham, his first wife Marilyn Durham, brother Jim (Pat) Durham and son Thomas O’Brien Durham. The family would like to thank the doctors and staff of Queen of the Valley Hospital and Kindred Hospice for their support and loving care, his family and many friends for their assistance, their love and affection, all of whom will miss him deeply.
On June 29th, 2017 our loving husband, father and grandfather, after living an adventuresome and fulfilling life, passed away peacefully at his home in Napa. Calvin Laird Durham, Jr., known to all as Laird, was born on May 1, 1928 in Lynchburg,... View Obituary & Service Information
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