Roberta "Sue" Durian

Iowa City

Roberta "Sue" Durian, 76,
of Iowa City, passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family on Jan. 12, 2020.
Sue was born July 5, 1943, in Fairfield, Iowa, to Doyle and Nellie (Rubey) Paul. She was raised on the family farm in the Brighton area before graduating from high school in Fairfield in 1961. She moved to Iowa City to work for the University of Iowa Residence Services in 1961. It was in Iowa City that she met and married her husband of 57 years, Fred Durian. Sue and Fred were blessed with two children, Denise and Kelly, and were exemplary parents and grandparents.
After her children were born, Sue worked as a secretary for the Iowa City Community School District for 31 years, retiring in 2000. Sue worked at many different schools, including Lemme, Lincoln and Hoover elementary schools as well as Southeast Junior High and the board office. She developed many lifelong friendships from her time with the school district. She was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Iowa City and spent her retirement years enjoying traveling with her husband and friends to various locations around the world. Favorite trips included Hawaii, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, South America, the Galapagos Islands and several river cruises throughout Europe. Sue also devoted many hours as a volunteer at Mercy Hospital and at St. Mary's helping to prepare and serve funeral lunches and helping out in the office.
Sue was a very thoughtful and caring individual, always thinking of others before herself. She was an excellent cook and greatly enjoyed entertaining, playing cards, attending all her grandchildren's activities, exercising and knitting. Growing up on a farm, Sue developed a lifelong love of animals and cherished her family pets.
Survivors include her husband, Fred of Iowa City; daughter, Denise (Michael) Gannon of Coralville; son, Kelly (Ann) of Iowa City; eight grandchildren, Rachael, Jacob (fiance Kelly Schumer), Maria (Lucas Koester), Jonathan and James Gannon and Erin, Leigh and Gwyneth Durian; as well as one brother, Richard (Sandra) Paul. Also surviving are Sue's sister- and brothers-in-law, Mary Lu Paul, Bill (Janet) Durian, Rosemary Humphreys, Nick (Arlene) Durian, Duane (Judy) Durian, Mary Ellen (Jerry) Jones, Jerry (Diane) Durian, Joe (Sue) Durian, Jim (Val) Durian and Celeste (Kim) Croskrey.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Kenneth Paul; a brother-in-law, Mark Humphreys; and a sister-in-law, Jolleen Durian.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at St. Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church, 302 E. Jefferson St., Iowa City by the Rev. Steve Witt with assistance from the Rev. Charles Fladung. The family will greet extended family and friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the church. A wake service will be held at 7 p.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Mercy Hospital Foundation and Iowa City Hospice.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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