ESPN’s Richard Durrett remembered as loving father, trusted friend

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by JOSH DAVIS and WFAA.com Staff

WFAA

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 23 at 3:16 PM

DALLAS -- A memorial was held Monday for long-time Dallas sports writer and blogger Richard Durrett.

The married father of two, with another child on the way, was only 38 when he died suddenly last week.

Durrett's service Monday was held at Northway Christian Church in Dallas. A crowd of hundreds packed the sanctuary, including Texas Rangers Manager Ron Washington, GM Jon Daniels, former Dallas Stars great Mike Modano, and a bevy of sports media luminaries both locally and nationally.

Numerous friends and co-workers have written about Durrett's passing, including Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest, Tim MacMahon and Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, Jeff Wilson and Mac Engel of the Star-Telegram, and our Baseball Texas contributors Patrick Despain and Kate Morrison.

Richard attended TCU, graduating with a Radio-TV-Film degree in 1998. It was there as a member of the TCU Marching Band he met his wife, Kelly.

Richard and Kelly would marry in 2001 and settled in Wylie, where they raised their children, Owen (born in 2008) and Alice (born in 2010). Kelly is expecting another child in January.

Kelly Durrett released this statement Saturday:

“On Tuesday, our peaceful life exploded into a chaos and devastation that will redefine our existence. It will take weeks and months just to begin processing a way forward without Richard. But even as our world turns dark, glimmering around us are the hundreds of small lights Richard planted throughout his life. With every message and article and post the reflection of the light beats back the darkness. We are blinded by the Rangers’ generosity and a community unfathomably larger and more generous than we ever could have imagined. It’s impossible to adequately express our gratitude.” — Kelly, Owen, Alice and Baby Durrett

Richard Durrett began his sports media career broadcasting play by play for the Idaho Falls Braves, a minor league baseball team. Durrett returned to North Texas to broadcast for the Fort Worth Fire hockey team before moving on to writing for the Grapevine Sun and the Denton Record-Chronicle. He then was hired by the Dallas Morning News, where he spent nine years covering high school sports, motor sports, college sports, professional hockey, golf, and the Texas Rangers.

Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in 2009 covering the Rangers, among other sports. From there, he also branched out into a role with ESPN 103.3 and an on-air contributor role for ESPN programming. Numerous coworkers mentioned his versatility - from podcasts to live chats to blogging to video - and how that made him an ideal journalist for the dawn of the digital age.

He was remembered for his work ethic Monday, as well as his ability to take on any topic in sports, journalism, or beyond, with the same fervor and curiosity. Speakers recalled Durrett's love for Auburn and TCU and his ability to make anyone - be it a source, friend, or coworker - feel as if they were important in any interactions with him. He was active in the choir and an enthusiastic volunteer at Northway Christian Church, and a mentor and friend to many up-and-coming journalists.

Donations can be made online with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation or through the mail at the Richard Durrett Family Fund Care of the Rangers or at any Liberty Bank. You can make a donation to his family at this link under the "Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation" header in the center of the page.

Richard Durrett is survived by his wife, Kelly, and children, Owen, Alice, and Baby Durrett. Parents, Barbara and Lamar Durrett; brother, Robert, and his wife, Carolyn; sisters-in-law, Katherine Neumon and Rachel Cooley; and numerous other family members.

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