AUBURN — Stanley Durgin, 89, of Paris passed away on Monday, Jan. 17, at the Hospice House.

He was born in Sweden, Jan. 21, 1921, the son of Cyrus and Fannie Wilson Durgin. He grew up in Paris and graduated from Paris High School in 1940. He was a four-letter athlete participating in basketball, baseball, football and track.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after graduation. After basic training, he was deployed to the Phillipines as a member of the highly trained 27th Bombardment Group, 48th Material Squadron. The group arrived in Manila in late November 1941, less than a year later, he was captured by the Japanese.

Following his capture, he was force-marched 65 miles to San-Fernando in what is now known as the Bataan Death March. He also survived the infamous Japanese “Hell Ships” and 3 1/2 years in multiple prison camps.

When the war ended in 1945, he was one of approximately 3,600 survivors out of the 36,000 Americans, who surrendered in World War II. He received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal, Phillipine Defense medal, Presidential Unit Citation, World War II Victory medal, Honorable Service Lapel button, the Bronze Star, Army Good Conduct medal, American Defense Service medal, Prisoner of War medal and the Purple Heart.

After his return from prison camp, he married his high school sweetheart, F. Mary Stearns on Dec. 26, 1945. Stan became well-known in the Oxford Hills area as a barber at Pokey French’s, where he clipped everyone he could. He was also a “popular” school bus driver in South Paris for many years. He retired from A.C. Lawrence when he was 62.

In retirement, he had many hobbies including metal work, wood work, plain, old tinkering, fiddling, telling jokes, laughing, being a grandfather and eventually a great-grandfather.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary; daughter, Vickie Matero and her husband, Stan, of Gray; son, Larry and his wife, Tara, of Greenwood; grandchildren, Jessica and husband, Phil, Kaleb and companion, Heidi and Kinsey and companion, Pernille; great-grandchildren, Kyle, Ashley, Graycee, and a baby girl to be born in May; stepgrandchildren, David and Cathy, Karen and Tim and wife, Angie Matero; stepgreat-grandchildren, Jordan and Oskar Matero.

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