John R. Durfee, 80, who retired as Cazenovia Central School District Transportation Supervisor, died Saturday, June 25, 2022. He was born June 21, 1942 (the longest day in the year) of Franklin E. and Ellie Ryan. Durfee and graduated from Cazenovia High School in 1960. John began working at age 10 peddling newspapers for his uncle, John F. Ryan. In 1961 he joined the Cazenovia Fire Department’s Hook & Ladder Company, rising through the ranks and was appointed chief in 1984 and 1985. Also in 1961, he began barbering at DeWitt and Manlius until what the hippies come along and end his career. In 1967, John bought out Bill Rivenburg’s trucking business. He was employed as a bus driver in 1969 with the Cazenovia Central School District. In 1974 John was hired as Transportation Supervisor for Onondaga Central School and in 1976 as Transportation Supervisor at Cazenovia Central School District where he retired in 2004 after 36 years of service.
In 1975 John purchased a camp in Forestport, NY with Don Dorrance and Roger Stearns. John’s greatest pleasure has been the Cazenovia Fire Department of which he is a life member. He also enjoyed bowling and snowmobiling in Cazenovia and Forestport, but mostly socializing and camping with his friends in Erieville. John also enjoyed working in his shop and making scratch off lottery tickets with two of his close friends, John Haley and Buddy Blair. John was very close to his family, speaking to them in person or on the phone with his daughter, Susan every day and his son’s Tim and Tom at least once a week. John married his high school sweetheart, Donna L. Farr in 1962 at St. James’s Church in Cazenovia only to lose her at the age of 50 in 1995.
John is survived by his daughter, Susan (Michael Babel) Durfee Szewczyk of Morrisville; Thomas J. Durfee of Cazenovia and Timothy M. (Dawn Cottet) Durfee of Chittenango from his twin son; his soulmate, Cathy R. Basic of Cazenovia; grandsons, Cole (Caitlin Bennett) Szewczyk, Toby (Lauren Kellum) Szewczyk both of Morrisville, Kyle R. (Sierra Woods) Durfee of Cazenovia; his granddaughters, Kaitlyn (Justin) Thayer of Cazenovia and Gabby Durfee of Chittenango; her great-grandchildren, Braydon, Jack and Sophie Thayer and Greyson Durfee; his sister, Mary (John) Colligan of Cazenovia; sisters-in-law, Barb Clements of Fenner and Maureen Robinson of Cortland; his niece, Katie (Dennis) Pynn of Rochester and by his nephews, Scott (Ann) Clements of New Woodstock and Chris (Pam) Clements of Cazenovia.
A Christian Burial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 30, 2022 at St. James’s Church, 6 Green Street, Cazenovia. Interment will be in Saint James Cemetery. Calling hours will be from 2 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at Michael E. Brown Funeral Services, 2333 Fenner Road in Cazenovia. Contributions to John’s memory may be made to Cazenovia Fire Department 121 Albany St. Cazenovia, NY 13035 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or online at www. stjude.org. Condolences for the family may be left at michaelebrownfuneralservices.com.