Cover photo for James Durham's Obituary
James Durham Profile Photo

James Durham

d. February 22, 2015

Life Story for James Dean Durham

James Dean Durham, 68, passed away on Monday, May 11, at his residence in Mill Valley, Calif. He died of cardiac arrest, ending a courageous two-year battle with cancer.

Born in Indianapolis, Ind., to Mary and James Durham, he experienced the world as the eldest child in an Air Force family. Upon graduating from high school, he attended the University of Florida. There, he participated in the ROTC program, was a member of the Sigma Epsilon fraternity and a member of Tau Beta Pi. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Jim moved to UCLA and earned his MBA in less than a year, before becoming a 2nd lieutenant in the Army. He was later promoted to 1st lieutenant.

Following his education and Army career, Jim had a robust professional career in the healthcare industry that spanned 40 years. Jim was the founder of four successful companies, and led or influenced the success of many others. He was a member of YPO and WPO, cherishing the relationships he experienced there.

A true renaissance man, Jim had an unparalleled zest for life. He knew the importance of improving one’s self, and found most of his passions in Sun Valley, Idaho, his favorite place on this earth. It was in Sun Valley that he married Janis Heaphy in 2008. Together they built the home of their dreams on the golf course at The Valley Club and enjoyed the great outdoors and magic of Sun Valley over the ensuing seven years.

Jim was an avid hiker, fisherman, hunter, skier, sailor, discerning wine collector and voracious reader. And he loved traveling the world with Janis. He had an inspiring passion for the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference, and for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and even once played a supernumerary role in a production of “Aida” with the San Francisco Opera. His proudest personal accomplishment was obtaining his black belt and the rank of Taekwondo 1st Dan in April 2000.

Jim’s larger-than-life personality and strong character coupled with his courage will be remembered by his family and friends forever. He leaves his wife, Janis, his sons Michael and Ryan, his daughter-in-law Adriana and his step son Tanner, along with a host of extended family, friends and associates throughout the country.

Jim’s family will be holding a celebration of Jim’s life in Sun Valley on Aug. 22, 2015, and would like to ask that any memorial donations be made in Jim’s name to the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference or the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Durham, please visit our flower store.


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