Obituary of Joseph Durso
Joseph M. Durso, of Reston, Va., an entrepreneur, inventor, author, golf instructor, and singer in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 35 years, died on June 17, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was 86.
Joe Durso was born June 6, 1932 in Depew, NY, graduated from Depew High School in 1950 and served in the U.S. Army in Texas during the Korean War. He returned to Buffalo and began his natural-born career as a salesman selling “adding machines” and other office equipment. In 1955, he married Arlene C. Lux and moved his family of four girls to Syracuse, NY; Cleveland; Philadelphia; and back to Clarence, NY, before settling in Reston, VA in 1972.
Alongside his career in the 1960s, Mr. Durso sang the lead in multiple barbershop quartets, winning several competitions. He was a life-long musician of the piano and harmonica, and could make his way around the accordion and banjo.
In the 1970s, Mr. Durso was active in Washington, D.C., commercial real estate and by 1976 had opened a copy center on DeSales St. This was the precursor to an executive suites leasing business that grew to five locations in the DC area. In the late 1980s and 1990s, Joe was an adjunct instructor of golf at American University, wrote and recorded a golf radio broadcast, and patented a golf practice mat endorsed by Sam Sneed, which he manufactured and sold to golf courses in the DC area and Buffalo, New York.
Mr. Durso held a deep Christian faith and was an early member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Reston, where he sang in the choir for many years, taught adult Sunday School and was known by many for his outgoing friendliness as the first person they met at the church.
Mr. Durso was a lifelong learner, and studied both Christian doctrine and golf, collecting many older first-edition golf books by the original golf greats. He made his own contributions to golf writing with the publication of Mere Golf in 2015.
Joe never stopped worshipping at his beloved church, playing the harmonica or teaching golf, having taught his oldest student of 92 a few years ago, and given putting lessons to one of his caregivers just two weeks ago.
Joe was a loving husband to Arlene before she passed in 2014, and is survived by his daughters, Karen Swinley, Nancy Durso (Phil Charlwood), Lori Gerlaugh (Rob Gerlaugh), Mary Lou Marshall, 12 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, John Durso (Claire) of Lancaster, NY; sister Ruth Rovillo (Richard) and many special nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at Adams-Green Funeral Home in Herndon on Sunday, June 24, from 2-5:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1133 Reston Avenue, Herndon, VA 20170, on Monday, June 25 at 11:30 a.m., followed by a reception at the church.
Burial will take place on June 30 at St. Mary’s cemetery in Lancaster, NY.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Joe Durso to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 1133 Reston Ave., Herndon, VA 20170.