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Ronald A. Durno, 96, Dies in Florida

NAPLES, FL—Ronald Arthur Durno, 96, of Naples, FL, a former resident of Kent, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Oct. 4, 2023.

Ron was born on April 3, 1927, in Bournemouth, England. He was a young boy during World War II and experienced first-hand the bombing raids in London until he was evacuated to Yeovil in Somerset. 

Growing up amid the rise of the automobile and airplane industries, Ron gained a fascination for all things mechanical.  

His artistic talent (he displayed his painting of locomotives at the Kent Memorial Library) led him to a career in mechanical engineering where he worked at Handley Page and Hawker Sidley in England as well as Cessna and Sikorsky Aircraft in the USA. It was at Sikorsky Aircraft where Ron was granted several patents for his inventions for helicopter mechanical flight controls.  

Ron married Hilary Mary Wallis in 1952 and they started their life together in Welwyn Garden City, England. They eventually emigrated to the United States and settled in Trumbull, CT, where they raised their three sons. There was always a project underway in the Durno garage with Ron and his boys working side by side on their minibikes, go-carts, cars and his passion: Jaguars, steam locomotives and model airplanes. Ron will always be remembered as a teacher and inspiration for all his sons’ endeavors.

Ron was predeceased by his wife of 71 years, Hilary Durno; his parents Arthur and Daisy Durno, and his brothers Norman Durno and James Durno, all of Australia. He leaves behind his three sons, Mark (Lynn), Jason (Susanne) and Roger (Jessica). Ron will be dearly missed by his eight grandchildren, Derek Durno (Sarah), Danielle Hurlburt (Rob), Amanda Crescimanno (Mike), Alyssa Price (Justin), Paige Beisner (John), Sarah Durno, Rachel Durno, and Ian Durno. He was also blessed with four great-grandsons; JJ Price, Michael Crescimanno, Carsen Price, and Sebastian Crescimanno.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory would be welcomed at Avow Hospice, Inc. 1095

Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, FL 34105; 239-237-5421. To donate online, visit their website at

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