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John R. Durand

December 6, 2021

Alexandria Bay, NY – John R. Durand, 67, of Goose Bay Extension, passed away at Crouse Memorial Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on December 31, 1953, the son of Richard and Joan VanArnam Durand. He graduated from Alexandria Bay High School in 1972 and then from Canton A.T.C. in 1974.

John married Lori M. Keszler on September 20, 1984 at St. Cyril’s Catholic Church in Alexandria Bay with Fr. James Meehan officiating.

John was co-owner Wellesley Island Building Supply on Wellesley Island. Prior to that, he was owner of the famed Crazy Horse Saloon in Alexandria Bay, which he sold in 1984. He was an avid waterfowler, fisherman and deer hunter and loved being of the St. Lawrence River. He was a member of the National Rifle Association and an active supporter of Ducks Unlimited since 1981, reaching the esteemed level of Heritage Sponsor.

Besides his wife, Lori, John is survived by his brothers and their wives; James (Cynthia), Alexandria Bay; Jeffrey (Stacey), Alexandria Bay; Joseph (Rosalie), Marcellus, NY; Jerry (Patricia), Alexandria Bay; and Jay (Andrea), Syracuse, NY, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Calling hours will be held at Costello Funeral Home on Sunday, December 12, from 2-5 pm. A funeral mass will be held at St. Cyril’s Church on Monday at 11 am, with the burial to follow at Riverside Cemetery, Wellesley Island. Masks are suggested.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alexandria Bay Rescue Squad, 110 Walton St., Alexandria Bay, NY 13607 or to T.I.E.R.S., 885 Graves St., Clayton, NY 13624.



Johnny Durand knew how to make friends and keep them. Schooled by "Gordie" and "Sid", as a young man he learned the ways of the folks that make a living along the St. Lawrence River. Blessed with great parents, a bunch of hard-working brothers and a wonderful wife, he became a very successful businessman. And along the way, from the saloon days to running a lumber and hardware business, he quietly helped others and always took the time to make each of us feel special.

Roswell Trickey Dec 18 2021 12:00 AM

Laura and I are deeply saddened to hear of the death of John. We got to know him while building a cottage on Maple Island and he was always so delightful, helpful, caring, With a smile on his face. He will be dearly missed by the Thousand Island community. Our condolences to all of his family and close friends.

Linda McCarthy Dec 13 2021 6:29 PM

My sincere condolences to the Durand family on the loss of this truly amazing human being. John was always exceedingly kind, polite, and helpful to my husband and I. After my husband's passing, John went above and beyond to not only provide exemplary service to me at WIBS, he did it with such personal care and concern. A truly fine individual who was the consummate businessman and an asset and support to the community in so many ways. He will be missed by all. My heart goes out to you on the loss of a beloved husband, brother, uncle, friend. May memories sustain you; may the love of friends and family give you peace.

Cynthia Stren Dec 13 2021 11:13 AM

Deepest sympathy to Lori and to all of John's loved ones. We know that you will greatly miss him. Our hearts go out to you. John created a community at WIBS that made people want to go there. It's where a lot of us went on 9 -11 and he helped during the other natural disaster events. John found time to greet people and make them feel welcome. He supported people in times of loss and also celebrated the accomplishments of others. Back in the day, we fun meeting up at the well-remembered Crazy Horse. John's vision in business, real estate, wildlife conservation, and community support is a very good legacy. His ability to inspire friendship, loyalty, and laughter is something we should also try to do in our own lives.

Kate Dickson & David Johnson Dec 13 2021 9:45 AM

Tim and I send our most sincere condolences. John was a wonderful man. He will be missed but never forgotten.

Tim and Kim Rogers Dec 12 2021 7:31 PM

To Lori and Family, It was a great shock to hear of John's passing earlier this week. We hope you will be able to find some comfort in knowing how important John was in the community amongst all your friends and family of course. We know how difficult this time is. We plan to make a special donation to Alex Bay FD and Rescue - as they are so important and necessary up here. John spoke to me (Peg) after my dad passed away 3 years ago- about how much he admired my dad, Bill Berry. That was very special and I will never forget this. Take care and we pray that you and your family will have God's blessings and strength to get through this shock and difficult time. Thoughts and prayers, Peg and Steve Hale and Jean Berry

Peg Hale Dec 12 2021 1:00 PM

A great River guy, always willing to give. Rest with the Angels! Care and prayers to Lori and the family.

Sue Whitney Dec 12 2021 12:21 PM

Working at WIBS was a highlight of my summer, it was an education in itself. Thank you John for teaching me. My deepest condolences to Lori and the entire Durand family.

Kennedy Quigg Dec 12 2021 10:33 AM

To the Durand family - I am so sorry to hear that John has passed. He will be remembered as a friend and always being there for others. I will never forget the support he provided me and my family years ago when I lost a family member. RIP my friend. Lisa Hartman (Chaltain) and family

Lisa Hartman Dec 11 2021 8:36 PM

John Durand, A great man with kindness and a great sense of humor! Years ago John was delivering to a client in the bay of Grenell Island as he passed Judy Salisburys cottage where Will Salisbury and I were repairing the upstairs porch Will shouted John come over as I have questions on the shingle warranty. It was a very windy day and the ladder that Will and I had used to get up there had blown down. John always going the extra mile docked his boat and attempted to enter the cottage; Will said "Just put up the ladder", John did came up and answered Will on warranty and probably never knew that Dumb and dumber (Will and I) had been rescued by him! John always went the extra mile! Have fun in Heaven! Prayers to family friends and all the River community who loved John!

T Chris Tormey Dec 11 2021 4:28 PM

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