Francisco Emilio Durazo
Francisco Emilio “Dee” Durazo, 90, of Douglas, went home to his Lord on Christmas morning, December 25th, 2012. It was only fitting that such an honorable man was called by Jesus on the day we celebrate his birth.
Emilio was born March 8, 1922, in Villa Hidalgo (Oputo), Sonora, Mexico. He spent his younger years on the family ranch, located in a beautiful valley between two mountain ranges. He had colorful stories of his youth, including how he learned to swim when his brothers tossed him in a fast flowing river. In May of 1930, he moved to Douglas. He attended Loretto Catholic School and graduated from Douglas High School.
Emilio was a member of the greatest generation, having served his country in World War II in the northern Solomon Islands and the southern Philippines. During his military service he received the following awards: Asiatic Pacific Campaign, Philippine Liberation, Good Conduct, and World War II Victory. Upon his return from the war he met the love of his life, Maria del Carmen Pavlovich. They married on November 16, 1949, and had five children: Victoria Roche (Michael), Francisco Emilio Jr., Alicia Tapernoux (John), Maria Means (Bob), and Ruben (Mary).
Emilio served as 1st Sgt and full time administrator of the 158th Infantry National Guard Unit (famed Bushmasters) in Douglas until 1971. He then became the first Hispanic to serve as a U.S. Customs Inspector at the border station in Douglas until his retirement. He was always very involved in his religion, serving as an altar boy in his youth, and in adulthood as an active member of St. Luke’s Catholic Church. He served as a Eucharistic Minister and in any capacity that the Church needed him. He was a long time member of the Knights of Columbus. His generosity and kindness were an inspiration to others. He regularly volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul Society. With the same loving care that he had for his family, he helped many members of the community. He did not judge anyone. Everyone that knew him had the deepest respect and admiration for him.
In addition to his wife and five children, Emilio is survived by eight grandchildren: Roxanne Guerra of Chicago, Anjelica Durazo of Chicago, Lucas Tapernoux of Tempe, Camila Tapernoux of New York, Adrian Durazo of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Danielle Durazo of Tucson, Marcela Means of Laramie, Wyoming, and Taylor Means of Cheyenne, Wyoming; two great grandchildren: Jackson Emilio Guerra of Chicago and Gabriel Emilio Chavez of Tucson; a sister, Alicia Navarrete, of Chandler and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfonso and Beatriz Durazo; three sisters: Marianna Durazo, Mary Durazo Morales and Beatriz Durazo Morales; and five brothers: Francisco Jose “Shorty” Durazo, Felizardo Durazo, Alfonso Durazo, Ernesto Durazo, and Manuel “Peaches” Durazo.
Services will be held Saturday, January 5th at Immaculate Conception Church in Douglas. Rosary will be recited at 10:15 and mass will follow at 10:45.
As Emilio was such a charitable person, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements entrusted to Alex Espinosa Funeral Home in Bisbee 1094 HWY 92, BISBEE, AZ 432-4242.
Emilio’s life was about helping others; not only people, but also the birds he would feed daily without fail. The prayer of St. Francis sums up his life.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.