Serving the community since 1970

Adel M. Durando (Nee Urzangui de Badaya)

June 23, 1926 – May 22, 2021

Our Mom, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend peacefully passed away at the home of her daughter Mary. Due to her devout Catholic faith, we are comforted that she is now with our Lord Jesus Christ in his Heavenly Kingdom. Mom shared this deep faith with her children and her spouse.

Mom was born in Stockton in 1926 to Spanish Basque immigrants Sebastian Urzanqui, Eugui, Navarra Spain and Lucia Badaya, Abadiano, Viscaya Spain. She was most proud of her heritage and shared it with her family; she especially loved telling about the adventures she had at her father's sheep camp, visiting her uncles at their camp and the famous Basque sheepherder's picnics in California. She was a proud member of the Bakersfield "Bo Peeps" ladies auxiliary.

Mom moved to Wasco in 1933 with her family and lived there until 2014, when she moved to Menlo Park to live near her two oldest children.

She was educated in the Wasco Unified School District and was in the first graduating class of the new Thomas Jefferson Junior High in 1940, as well as its first student body president. In high school she excelled in academics, marching band, was head cheerleader for 3 1/2 years. She participated in tennis and soccer; was editor of the "Tiger Rag" and yearbook.

During World War II, she was asked to coach boys and girls by the Recreation Department, as the men were not available for the summer programs

After graduating from Bakersfield College, she was asked to apply for a provisional teaching credential and taught at Wasco's elementary school. She finished her degree at San Francisco State College and returned to teach in Wasco.

She met the love of her life, Livio "Babe" Durando, while clerking part time in the local grocery store. Dad had moved back to Wasco to take over his father's farming business. They were married in 1949. Together they raised four children, Mary, Richard, Susan and Timothy. Her life was busy as a wife, mother, bookkeeper, 4-H leader, Altar Society and Federated Woman's Club member.

She was an avid knitter and always had her needles clicking when there was down time. She was famous for knitting dress socks for her three "boys" and the beautiful 3-foot-long Christmas stocking that she gave as christening gifts to family and friends and church and Woman's Club fundraisers. She was active in the Wasco Rose Festival and was Co-Grand Marshall of the Festival Parade in 2006.

When a substitute teacher was needed for six weeks in 1961 at St. John's School in Wasco; mom filled the vacancy. She did other sub work for both St. John's and the public schools until she was asked to pilot a new program for the Kern County schools. She became one of the first ESL -- English as a Second Language -- resource teachers for the State of California. She helped pioneer a testing and teaching program for the migrant students for the district. She was asked to share her approach at many teacher conferences throughout the state. She retired in 1975.

She and Dad enjoyed traveling to see their son Tim play football at the University of Oregon, and Mom was a proud Daisy Duck. They would also attend many Stanford games as it allowed them to visit their two oldest children at the time.

Mom became more active in the Federated Woman's Club and held many local, district and state offices. She was particularly proud of spearheading the central coast replacement of the Mission Bells along the California Coast from Santa Barbara to the University of Santa Clara location. She was very active in the Woman's Club reading sorority, having read over 5,400 books over about 15 years. She also was elected to the International Society of Women Educators.

Her family wishes to thank Mom's care team over the last 10 years: Dr. Tommy Lee, Dr. Susan Hoffman, Dr. Bob Hu and the Stanford Emergency Department and Hospital staff. We are especially grateful to her homecare givers for the past four years, Fatima and Malia -- you were her special angels.

She was preceded in death by her parents; beloved spouse of 50 years, "Babe" Durando; and siblings Fernando and John Albert Urzanqui, Mary Jane Rogers (Col. Charles, deceased); and son Timothy (Pat Durando Campbell). She is survived by children Mary Durando, Susan Bravo (Dr. Keith) and Richard Durando (Margaret). She has seven grandsons: Greg (Hannah), Michael (Courtney), George, Douglas and Mark Durando, and Joshua and Benjamin Bravo. She was a great-grandmother to Jack, Holly and Stevie Seline Durando and Ona Catherine Campbell. She has many nephews, two nieces and many great-nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to your favorite charity or the following: Nativity School – 1250 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025

Friends of Mercy Hospital – P.O. Box 119, Bakersfield 93302

Wasco Community Scholarship Foundation – c/o Wasco High School, 1900 Seventh St., Wasco 93280

Services will be held Friday, June 4, at 10 a.m. at St. John's Catholic Church in Wasco, with Rosary at 9:30 a.m. Interment will be held at Wasco Memorial Park following the Mass.


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