Donald C. Durost, accomplished businessman

April 1, 2014
Don Durost

Donald Carlton Durost, 82, of Rehoboth Beach, became one of God’s Angels Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. He was born Feb. 8, 1931, in Westbrook, Maine, son of the late Frederick W. and Alberta (Shaw) Durost.

Born and raised in South Portland, Maine, Mr. Durost attended graded school here, graduating with the South Portland High School Class of 1949. Shortly after graduation, Mr. Durost would honorably serve his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict from 1950-54. Following his service, he attended Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va. as a pre-ministerial student. While in school, Mr. Durost received his local preacher’s license and went on to be assigned as pastor for four rural churches nearby in Spotsylvania, Va.

After completion of school and several years of pastoral duties, Mr. Durost found himself searching for more, and would move to Washington, D.C. in exploration. In D.C., he worked and helped grow several businesses including Executone of Md. Inc., and Wright & Co. Inc., where he worked his way up to vice president at both companies. Following this work, Mr. Durost decided to further his education and attended American University where he would graduate with his bachelor's in business administration in 1968.

In 1970, Mr. Durost moved to Rehoboth Beach, where he became a partner in Atlantic Litho, a struggling printing company. Over the next 14 years, he would work tirelessly to turn the business around into a thriving and profitable company. Upon his retirement in 1986, Atlantic Litho was known as the best and most respected printing company around and Mr. Durost would be remembered as the founding father that got them there.

Mr. Durost was not done work yet though, he had recently met his life partner and the love of his life, D. Lee, and together they moved to Smithville, N.J. Here, he would manage Tomasello Vineyards in the Towne of Historic Smithville and become Historic Smithville’s first town manager. Historic Smithville was a tourist attraction with a 200-year-old restaurant and shoppes housed in old historic colonial buildings. The streets were constructed of cobblestone, and there was flowing gardens and a huge lake filled with geese. Smithville was a place Mr. Durost truly loved and enjoyed his final years of work at.

Mr. Durost was a very civic-minded gentleman who participated in a number of organizations. He was past president of AARP and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, past CFO and acting director of the Lewes Senior Center, and former chief trainer with the 55 Alive Center. Mr. Durost also dedicated a great number of volunteer hours to the Medicare Fraud State Advisory Council and the Division of Aging as a volunteer ombudsman. He was a member of the Ocean View VFW, American Legion Post 5 in Rehoboth Beach and the Korean War Veterans in Oak Orchard.

Mr. Durost is survived by his loving and devoted friend, caregiver and spouse of more than 31 years, D. Lee DeShong of Rehoboth Beach; two sons: David Russell Durost of Whitman, Mass. and Darrell Stephen Durost of Carver, Mass.; one grandson; one great-grandchild and a half-sister, Lynda Hauck of Williston, Fla. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a half brother, Blanchard Mills, and his stepfather, Clyde Boothby.

Interment with military honors will be held Friday, April 11, at 2 p.m., at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel, 26669 Patriots Way, Millsboro. Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Lewes.

Memorial contributions may be made to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19968.

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