Margaret M. Durnin, ex-Freeport resident and retired banking assistant, dies

Margaret M. Durnin, a former Freeport resident and Margaret M. Durnin, a former Freeport resident and retired administrative assistant at a Manhattan bank, died at her upstate home in Cossayuna Lake. She was 88 and died from pneumonia complications.

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Margaret M. Durnin, a former Freeport resident and retired administrative assistant at a Manhattan bank, died Sunday at her upstate home in Cossayuna Lake.

She was 88 and died from pneumonia complications.

"She was funny and witty and a true treasure," said her daughter Eileen Jackson of Mooresville, North Carolina. "She was independent too, driving her car right up to the end."

She worked for 25 years at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., now JP Morgan Chase.

"During a time when many suburban mothers stayed at home, Peggy was a trailblazer of sorts, commuting to Manhattan every day on the LIRR while also raising four children back home in Freeport," said David Vieser, formerly of Freeport and now of Cornelius, North Carolina. He is related to the family through marriage.

Durnin and her husband, William, lived on Atlantic Avenue in the village from 1954 to 1989, when they moved upstate. He died in 2002.

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"She was always willing to help," said her friend and Freeport neighbor, Rita Waldhof. "I was only talking to her about two weeks ago. She did a lot of volunteer work here in the Holy Redeemer school library, starting it, I believe."

Durnin's other daughter, Ann McKendry of Melville, said her mother enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as gardening.

McKendry said, "She adored her big brother -- Joseph Mero" -- a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division who was killed in Holland in 1944. "She used to tell us how he took her to her first prom.

"She has all of his letters to her and his Purple Heart. His regiment, the 501st, holds a reunion every year, and she attended every one of them until this year. My dad went with her to them, and then I did. She learned so much about her brother because almost all of the guys knew him," she said.

Besides her daughters, Durnin is survived by two sons, William of San Antonio and Joseph of Long Island City, seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

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The family will receive friends from 7-9 p.m. Thursday at the Hungerford & Clark Funeral Home in Freeport. A brief religious ceremony will be held there at 8 p.m.

Family and friends will meet at 9 a.m. Friday at the funeral home for the trip to Calverton National Cemetery and burial.

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