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Dursts receive Rotary award

Dursts receive Rotary award

By Sue Wolfe

Durst Drywall Inc., as we have known it for over five decades, will no longer exist as the Durst father-and-son duo detour to new locations and a new phase of their life journey. Russ Durst, born and raised in Nelson Township and a 1953 graduate of Cedar Springs High School started out plastering (there was no drywall back then) with his brother-in-law Gene Ball.

Russ’s son Doug decided to join forces with his father upon his graduation from Cedar Springs High School in 1978. Russ also has one daughter and son-in-law Deb and Tony Paskewicz and a son Michael who passed away in 1987. Doug and his wife Cheri raised their two daughters, Heather and Brooke, in Nelson Township, next door to the original Durst Homestead.

When Doug came on board, they were primarily doing only drywall. They could hang, tape, mud, and sand a house quicker and better than many others in the trade and soon became highly sought after. Many of the homes and businesses in our community have had the professional drywall touch of the Durst men.

Russ will be retiring (except for a few small jobs and volunteer work with the 4-H Club). He plans to spend more time at his winter home in New Mexico while Doug will join his wife and two daughters in Rock Spring, Georgia.

Aaron Gauger, president of the Cedar Springs Rotary Club, recently presented Russ and Doug with a Certificate of Appreciation for their continued support and contributions to the Cedar Springs Community. Gauger sited the men for having exemplified the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.” Many Rotarians reflected on experiences with Russ, noting his 12 years on the Cedar Springs School Board as well as being a generous donor to every community organization and special event within our community over the years. Russ has been a faithful servant to the Cedar Springs Lions, an international service organization for over 50 years.

When asked how a father and son can work and play together most every day over the past 35-plus years, Russ simply said, “You just respect each other for who they are and what they can do. You treat each other as equals and there is no ‘boss,’” replied the elder Durst. “I have really enjoyed working with Doug and for the people in this community. I will always have many good memories of Cedar Springs.”

Rotarians expressed great respect and appreciation to both Russ and Doug for being honorable and humble men. They also wished them well as they transition into new adventures and a new way of life, perhaps now as simply “best friends.”

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