Found peace on April 18th, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Bill was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on July 26th, 1949 to William Anthony and Martha Sexton Durkin, who preceded him in death. One of ten siblings, he spent his childhood in the Milwaukee area and later in Madison. He was a graduate of Edgewood High School, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he would no doubt want us to mention, Madame Kuony’s School of Culinary Arts.
He returned to the state where he was born for various reasons over the years: to visit beloved family, to build Radio Flyer wagons, to follow his conscience with the Chicago 15, to raise funds for the Hadley School for the Blind, to “watch the Cubs lose,” and to contribute to the community archives on peace and social justice at DePaul University. Bill was dedicated to building the ethics of charitable giving and served as president of both the local and national associations of professional fundraisers. He served as the Director of Development for Cardinal Stritch University and the UWM Foundation. He was the President of Durkin Associates, providing professional counsel to more than 100 clients over the course of his career. He taught others how to “develop a taste for giving,” make connections, work together, and enrich the community. He was a former director of the Whitefish Bay Public Education Foundation and a proud Rotarian.
Bill will be remembered for his warmth, his wit and his persistent willingness to cause good trouble. He loved to celebrate and could always be counted on for his good humor, good food and good wine. He leaves behind happy memories and a reminder to enjoy life and take care of others. He will be missed by his best friend and wife of 38 years, Kathleen Pritchard; the children he adored: Elizabeth (Charlie Roedel), Christine, and Ryan (Jennifer); his loving siblings and in-laws: Charlotte Durkin, Ginny Stamm, Marian Durkin, Maureen (Jack Longley), David (Trish Canady), Martha (John Leonardo), Ellen (Jim Nelson), Angela (Rich Tate), Susan Pederson (John) and Tom Pritchard (Roxanne); his accomplished nieces and nephews, cousins, and countless friends and colleagues. He joins his brothers Terrence and Lawrence, and his brothers-in-law Dave Horley, Ted Neely, and Alfred Stamm who have gone before him.
Always the fundraiser, Bill would ask for contributions in his name to Casa Maria, the Cancer Center at Froedtert Hospital or Milwaukee Urban Stables.
A private service was held on April 22, 2021 and a fitting celebration of his life will take place this summer.