A Valley pioneer was remembered at a special gathering in Boardman Sunday. Rosemary Durkin was recognized for her career accomplishments and her service to the community.
“Love You More” was the response Durkin gave anytime someone said I love you to her. Durkin died this past April and friends and family came together at Mr. Anthony’s on South Avenue to make sure her spirit lives on.
“She had the longest memory of anyone I have ever known about the good and the bad, and the friends and the foes,” said former Sen. Harry Meshel. “The positive opposed to the negative in everything she ever did.”
Durkin was elected Youngstown clerk of courts in 1975, the first woman to hold that high of a position in public office in Mahoning County. While in office, she appointed the first black woman as administrative deputy clerk and was praised for hiring people on their work ethic and skills rather than their name.
“She was an icon, and she grew into that,” said Durkin’s brother Rick Durkin. “She wanted to b with people. She did not care about politicians or public service, she wanted to be of the people”
“She really, really set the bar for so many elected officials, females who now hold public office in our community,” said Durkin’s nephew Jack Durkin.
But it wasn’t just what Durkin did in office that made her reputation shine, it’s what she did for the community. She was an active member in the church, chairperson for the door-to-door canvass for the American Red Cross and volunteered for the American Heart Association and United Way.
“She, as many people have said today, has been about the community, her family and her faith,” said Jack Durkin. “This demonstration today and this legacy of love will speak to so many causes that meant so much to her.”
This year, the Legacy of Love beneficiaries are The Society of St. Paul, Sister Jerome’s Poor, The Difference Makers and The Beatitude House.
If you would like to give to the initiative contact Rick Durkin at 330-547-9511.