Kent Durden |

Kent Durden

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. April 14 at the Grass Valley Seventh-day Adventist church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road, for Kent Edward Durden.

Mr. Durden, a prominent local naturalist, author and building contractor passed away unexpectedly last week while on a mercy trip in Punta Gorda, Belize, where he was helping to construct a school for Mayan children. Mr. Durden was leading 63 members of the Seventh-day Adventist church who spent two weeks in March building a school and holding dental and medical clinics for the local population. He was 69.

Mr. Durden was born Nov. 12, 1937. Before moving to this community in 1978, he lived in Southern California where, as a nature photographer, was very active with the “Lassie” TV series and a Disney series of nature films. He was best known for his film, book and lectures on “Lady,” the Golden Eagle that he raised from a chick.

He was an alumnus of La Sierra College in Riverside and was a lifelong member of the Seventh-day Adventist church, serving as a deacon for the past 12 years.

Mr. Durden is survived by his wife, Ernestine; sister, Patsy Durden of Yucca Valley; daughters, Kim Fiano of Ventura and Kristin Durden of Portland, Ore.; seven step-children and 14 grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to equip the new Kent Durden Memorial School in Belize through the Grass Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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