Charles A. Durkin, 93, of Ridley Park, passed away peacefully on September 12, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. He and his wife Dolores were longtime residents of Delaware County while raising their four beloved children, residing first in Norwood, followed by a half a century residence in Ridley Park. Charles was born in San Diego, California on April 14, 1929, to Lucia Valdez and Frank Peter Durkin.
He was raised alongside his three brothers in Depression Era Southern California and came of age in high school while World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific. Upon graduation in 1946, he joined the Army and was selected to serve in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, NC. He made hundreds of jumps and served a total of six years before leaving the service honorably in the Spring of 1952. Charles made many friends while at Fort Bragg.
His closest friends were a group of Irish Catholic “gentlemen” from West Philadelphia. They referred to Charles as “Chalie” and they convinced him to join them for the summer of 1952 in Wildwood, NJ before he would return to his home in San Diego. Chalie agreed and had the time of his life at the Jersey Shore that summer. He soon made many more friends and shortly after met his future wife of 63 years, Dolores O’Regan of Southwest Philadelphia. Except for the occasional family visit, he never went back to California.
Chalie started the Durkin Appliance business in 1958 (“If it ain’t workin’ C. Durkin”). The business continues to operate today under the leadership of his grandson Richard M. Durkin. The nature of his business led Chalie to travel the roads of Delco daily and to visit more than a thousand homes each year. As a result, he seemed to know everyone in Delco, and everyone knew him. His always friendly demeanor, sense of humor, kindness, and his vast repertoire of jokes made him a Delco legend.
His hobbies included fishing, shuffleboard, pool, and local sports. Those who knew him, knew better than to challenge him at bar room games. Even at an advanced age, he was barred from a shuffleboard league because he was so difficult to beat. He enjoyed playing pool and shuffleboard at the American Legion Post 507 in Norwood, Marty’s Pour House, and many other establishments in Delco.
Chalie was an ardent fan of Villanova basketball and Phillies baseball. He was a Flyers season ticket holder during their amazing run in the 1970s, but he loved fishing more than any sport. He loved fishing so much that he gave up his ticket to the Flyer’s Stanley Cup clinching game in 1974 to go fishing with his brother-in-law Jack Collins. Jack’s son Jake got the game ticket and a lifetime memory.
Chalie adored his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and the Diamond girls (Mary Jane, Cathy, Ellen, and Beth). He was the life of every family gathering, entertaining the young and old with his stories and jokes.
Charles Durkin is predeceased by his parents, his wife Dolores Durkin (nee O’Regan), his daughter Mary Durkin, his brothers Patrick and Frank, and his stepfather James Weber. He is survived by his brother Jerry; his children: Charles J. Durkin (Mary Jane), Virginia Durkin, and Freddie DePrince (Rick); five grandchildren: Richard M. Durkin, Daniel Durkin (Leslie), Katherine Schlager (Charles), Emily Durkin, and Marissa DePrince; and six great grandchildren: Derek Durkin, Charles V. Durkin, Henry Durkin, Jack Durkin, Briar Schlager, and Scarlett Durkin.
A visitation and Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday evening October 6, 2022, at the Cavanagh Funeral Home, 301 Chester Pike, Norwood, PA. The visitation will begin at 6 PM and the Celebration of Life will begin at approximately 8 PM. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Donations can be made online at: https://tinyurl.com/2p85k3pc, or by mail to National MS Society, PO Box #91891, Washington, D.C. 20090 – 1891.