Bennie “Ben” Monroe Durr

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bennie “Ben” Monroe Durr was born in Caseyville on May 23, 1933 and went home to be with his Savior on Sept. 22, 2012 at the age of 79. A celebration of his life is scheduled for Sept. 29, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at Second Baptist Church on Hwy 59 north in Kingwood, Texas.

     Ben was a graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi State University in Starkville, and Trinity University in San Antonio. He received his Fellowship from the American College of Hospital Executives. He began his career as Assistant Administrator at University Hospital in Jackson, and then became Health and Welfare Administrator for Ingall’s Shipbuilding Corp. in Pascagoula. In 1961, he became CEO of Park Place Hospital in Port Arthur, Texas. He was transferred to Houston with Lifemark Corp. as Vice President of the Eastern Division in hospital procurement and construction. He oversaw construction of Park Plaza Hospital in Houston and Northeast Medical Center Hospital in Humble, Texas, where he served as CEO until 1976. Following a transfer to Denton, Texas, he served as CEO of Westgate Hospital until 1981 when he accepted the position of CEO of Uvalde Memorial Hospital Authority until his retirement in 2004.

     Ben served on The Texas Board of Health for 12 years. He was a charter member and served on the board of Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals, and guest lectured in Allied Health Programs at Trinity University, Lamar University, TWU, NTSU, and Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He served as a consultant to Labor Unions and health and welfare insurance programs. He was a member of the U.S./Mexico Border Health Assn. and a past chairman of Texas Hospital Assn. rural and small hospital constituency. He was chairman of Greater San Antonio Hospital Council, a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Family Practice Residency Advisory Committee.

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     He was involved in the Rotary Club of four cities and a Paul Harris Fellow, a former member of the Chamber of Commerce of Port Arthur, Texas, and a member of the Board of Directors of East Texas Baptist college. He received the Regent’s Award from the American College of Healthcare executives in 1999 and was awarded the 2000 Gordon Russell Merit Award recognizing outstanding achievement by Texas Organization of Rural Hospitals. One of his proudest achievements was authoring the book “Miss Emily: The Yellow Rose of Texas.” He was a Korean War veteran and recipient of a Purple Heart.

     He is survived by his wife Carolyn Leman Durr of 50 years, son Benjamin and his wife Victoria, daughters Benca Hronas and Bethany McDaris, grandchildren Natalie Durr, Isabella Durr, Matthew McDaris and Nicolas Hronas. He is also survived by his sisters, Juanita Durr Smith, of Atmore, Ala. and Maxine Durr Thompson, of Hazlehurst.

     In lieu of flowers, memorials may made to the 854th Medical Collecting Company’s Nursing Scholarship Fund at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, MS 39191.