Remembering Stephen Durkin: A Life of Leadership and Compassion
Stephen F. “Steve” Durkin, a beloved member of the Carbondale community, passed away at the age of 68. Known for his unwavering dedication to the Carbondale YMCA and his commitment to making a difference in the lives of others, Durkin leaves behind a legacy of leadership and compassion.
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From his early days as a standout athlete to his role as the executive director of the Carbondale YMCA, Durkin always asked, “Why not us?” He was a man who embraced challenges and took risks, leading the Y’s Capital Campaign to raise millions of dollars and ensure its continued success. His passion for helping others extended to the YMCA’s Autism Program, where he created a safe and inclusive space for parents and autistic teens and adults.
As we remember Stephen Durkin, let us celebrate his life and the impact he had on our community. Join us for a casual-dress Celebration of Life on Saturday, November 25, at AJ’s in Carbondale. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Carbondale YMCA Autism Program.
Stephen Durkin Obituary
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Stephen F. “Steve” Durkin, a beloved member of the Carbondale community. Steve, 68, peacefully passed away on Wednesday at Allied Hospice in Scranton. He leaves behind a legacy of dedication, passion, and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
Early Life and Education
Steve was born and raised in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. He attended St. Rose High School, where he excelled both academically and athletically. In 1973, he proudly graduated from St. Rose and went on to pursue higher education at Scranton University, where he continued to demonstrate his exceptional abilities.
Throughout his formative years, Steve’s parents, Robert and Anna May Scheressey Durkin, instilled in him the values of hard work, determination, and a strong sense of community. These values would shape his future endeavors and contribute to his remarkable achievements.
Steve’s professional journey was marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a genuine desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others. After completing his education, he established Durkin Apparel, a successful business that served the Carbondale and Honesdale communities.
However, Steve’s true calling came when he joined the Carbondale YMCA. For 23 years, he dedicated himself to the YMCA’s mission, serving as a swim instructor, program director, and ultimately, the executive director. Under his leadership, the YMCA flourished, becoming a vital hub for the community.
One of Steve’s most significant accomplishments was spearheading the Y’s Capital Campaign, which raised approximately $10 million. This funding allowed the YMCA to move into a modern facility and avoid closure, ensuring that future generations would continue to benefit from its programs and services.
Additionally, Steve was instrumental in establishing the Early Learning Program, which provided comprehensive educational opportunities for toddlers, Head Start participants, and after-school programs. He was particularly passionate about the A-Team, a class that brought together parents and autistic teens and adults for socialization and entertainment.
Steve’s dedication to his work and his unwavering belief in the potential of every individual inspired those around him. He was a true leader, always willing to take risks and ask, “Why not us?” His impact on the Carbondale community will be felt for generations to come.
Steve’s passing is a tremendous loss, but his memory will forever live on in the hearts of his family, friends, and the countless lives he touched. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his brothers, Wally, Jerry, Carl, and the rest of his extended family. May he rest in peace.
Contributions and Initiatives
Stephen F. “Steve” Durkin was not only a beloved member of the Carbondale community, but he was also a visionary leader who made significant contributions and spearheaded transformative initiatives. His dedication and passion for improving the lives of others were evident in the various projects he undertook throughout his career.
Y’s Capital Campaign
One of Steve’s most remarkable achievements was his leadership in the Y’s Capital Campaign. Recognizing the need for a contemporary facility and the potential closure of the YMCA, Steve took charge and successfully raised approximately $10 million. This substantial funding ensured that the YMCA could continue to serve the community and provide essential programs and services. Thanks to Steve’s unwavering determination, the YMCA was able to move into a modern facility, securing its future for generations to come.
Early Learning Program
Steve’s commitment to education and the well-being of children led to the establishment of the Early Learning Program. This comprehensive initiative aimed to provide toddlers, Head Start participants, and after-school program attendees with a nurturing and enriching environment. By offering a range of educational opportunities, Steve ensured that young children had access to the resources they needed to thrive academically and socially. The Early Learning Program became a cornerstone of the community, empowering children to reach their full potential.
One of Steve’s most cherished initiatives was the creation of the A-Team. This unique program brought together parents and autistic teens and adults for a two-hour weekly class that focused on entertainment and socialization. Steve recognized the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive community for individuals with autism and their families. The A-Team provided a safe and welcoming space for participants to connect, share experiences, and build meaningful relationships. Through this initiative, Steve demonstrated his unwavering commitment to promoting inclusivity and celebrating the unique abilities of every individual.
Steve’s contributions and initiatives have left an indelible mark on the Carbondale community. His visionary leadership, unwavering dedication, and passion for making a difference have inspired countless individuals. The impact of his work will continue to be felt for years to come, as his legacy lives on in the lives he touched and the programs he established. Steve’s commitment to creating a better future for all serves as a reminder of the power of compassion, determination, and community.
Family and Survivors
Stephen F. “Steve” Durkin was a beloved member of the Carbondale community, and his passing leaves a void that will be deeply felt by his family and loved ones. Steve was a cherished son, brother, uncle, and friend, and his memory will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
Steve is survived by his three brothers, Wally, Jerry, and Carl Durkin, who were not only his siblings but also his closest confidants and lifelong companions. Their bond was unbreakable, and they shared countless memories and experiences together. Steve’s brothers, along with their families, will undoubtedly carry on his legacy of love, compassion, and dedication to community.
In addition to his brothers, Steve leaves behind a large extended family, including 26 nieces and nephews, as well as numerous great nieces and nephews. His presence in their lives was a source of inspiration and guidance, and his memory will continue to be a guiding light for them.
Steve’s passing also leaves a void in the Carbondale community, where he was deeply respected and admired. His contributions to the YMCA and his unwavering commitment to improving the lives of others have left an indelible mark on the community. The impact of his work will continue to be felt by all those who had the privilege of knowing him.
During this difficult time, our thoughts and condolences go out to Steve’s family and loved ones. May they find solace in the memories they shared with him and in the knowledge that his legacy will continue to inspire and uplift others.
Celebration of Life and Memorial Donations
In honor of Stephen F. “Steve” Durkin’s remarkable life and the impact he had on the Carbondale community, a casual-dress Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 25 from 1 to 4 pm at AJ’s, located at 92 Dundaff St., Carbondale. This gathering will provide an opportunity for family, friends, and community members to come together, share stories, and celebrate the legacy of a truly remarkable individual.
During the Celebration of Life, attendees will have the chance to reflect on the profound influence Steve had on the lives of those around him. It will be a time to remember his kindness, his unwavering dedication, and his ability to bring people together. The event will serve as a testament to the lasting impact he had on the Carbondale community and beyond.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorial donations be made to the Carbondale YMCA Autism Program. This program, which was close to Steve’s heart, provides vital support and resources for individuals with autism and their families. Donations made in Steve’s memory will help ensure that this important program continues to thrive and make a difference in the lives of those it serves.
Memorial donations can be sent to the Carbondale YMCA Autism Program at 82 North Main St., Carbondale, PA 18407. Your contribution will honor Steve’s legacy and help create a brighter future for individuals with autism.
During this time of remembrance and reflection, let us come together to celebrate the life of Steve Durkin and the profound impact he had on our lives and our community. His memory will forever be cherished, and his legacy will continue to inspire us all.
Stephen F. “Steve” Durkin, a beloved member of the Carbondale community, has passed away at the age of 68. A graduate of St. Rose High School and Scranton University, Steve was known for his dedication to the Carbondale YMCA, where he served as a swim instructor, program director, and executive director for 23 years. He was instrumental in the Y’s Capital Campaign, which raised $10 million to ensure the Y’s continued operation. Steve’s passion for helping others extended to the YMCA’s Autism Program, where he admired the A-Team, a class that provided entertainment and socialization for parents and autistic teens and adults. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and the Carbondale community. A Celebration of Life will be held on November 25, and memorial donations can be made to the Carbondale YMCA Autism Program. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Steve’s loved ones during this difficult time.