W.H. 'Ben' Durant, 89, Weippe

      W.H. 'Ben' Durant passed away Aug. 11, 2013, at Wedgewood Terrace in Lewiston. He was 89.
      Ben was born Feb. 7, 1924, to Nellie (Setlow) and Xavier Durant in Weippe.
      He attended schools in Weippe and Lewiston, graduating from Weippe High School in 1942.
      Ben joined the U.S. Army Air Forces in December 1942 during World War II. He was a pilot for the 434 Bomber Squad B-25 and the 443 Troop Carrier C-46. After his time in the military, Ben owned and operated Durant's Grocery Store in Weippe, retiring in 1987.
      Ben married Betty Lou Benedict in 1947 at Lewiston. She passed away Feb. 5, 2005.
      Ben was very active in his community. He was the first mayor of Weippe and was a member of the American Legion, Pierce/Weippe, the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Orofino and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Weippe.
      Survivors include his daughter, Vickie Smith and her husband Ron of Weippe; two grandsons, Ronald Smith of Weippe and Lon Smith of Clarkston, WA; a great-grandson, Zachary Smith of Weippe; and a step great-granddaughter, Jamie Gates of Lewiston; a sister-in-law, Helen Benedict; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his parents, Xavier and Nellie; a sister, Verla Ennis and a brother, X E (Bus) Durant.
      Memorial donations may be made to the Shriner's Hospital, the Weippe Museum, the Weippe Senior Citizen's Center or a charity of choice. Merchant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Clearwater Trubune , August 22, 2013

Transcribed by Michal Berreth Beck, 2014

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