The Passing of a Pioneer | Celebrating the Life of Ken Durand
Thursday, January 2, 2020
Posted by: George Linial
A Message from CC Young
Friends, we are saddened to report that CC Young’s former President and CEO Kenneth T. Durand passed away Monday, December 23, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. Through his 27-year tenure at CC Young, Ken left an indelible mark on this campus and on our industry as a whole. He received multiple awards in his lifetime including the prestigious Award of Honor from TAHSA, the Texas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, which is now known as LeadingAge Texas. He served as Chairman of the Board of LeadingAge Texas, during his years of leadership. His contributions included numerous other industry and community boards.
Ken was a legend in the field of aging services, recognized nationally for his leadership and vision. It was through his innovations in environment and services for seniors that he became instrumental in educating the current and next generation of leaders. His personal qualities exceeded the highest standards of commitment and leadership to many senior citizens communities throughout the country.
He will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him; professionally and/or personally.
A memorial service will be held in January at CC Young.
A Message from George Linial
The Passing of a Pioneer
This past week we learned of the passing of one of the pioneers of our field who was very influential in the formation and continued success of LeadingAge Texas and CC Young. I met Ken Durand shortly after starting my position over 18 years ago. If I could describe Ken in one word – that word would be “passionate.” He was passionate about so many things – his work, our field, the development of new leaders, his team, and of course his family.
Ken embraced the field of gerontology and was an enthusiastic advocate for developing leaders in aging services. He worked diligently with the University of North Texas, with LeadingAge (than AAHSA) and with LeadingAge Texas (then TAHSA), to grow the number and quality of individuals entering the field. (By the way, Ken also encouraged the use of the word “field” rather than “industry” because he said we weren’t making things – we were serving people.)
Ken established a strong friendship with Dr. Herb Shore, one of the founders of AAHSA and TAHSA, and they worked together on a number of initiatives during the formative stages of the associations. He served on both the state and national boards with distinction and passion.
His vision for creating a supportive and lifelong learning environment for seniors was embodied in his work at CC Young. He said he was fortunate to be able to retire in such a loving and supportive community. His lasting legacy was that he was able to put into place a great leadership team before he retired – many of which are still at CC Young. They have continued to build upon his vision for the model community for aging services.
My hope is that we will see others that can match Ken’s passion for our field.
Attached below is a summary of his Award of Honor Nomination -- which Ken received in 2010:
Ken Durand has spent a lifetime cultivating concepts that will live on forever. His work on developing the aging services field to not only a concept, but a philosophy of valuing each individual and his/her own development throughout their lifetimes will have a lasting impact in the field. Ken has created a community that embodies this philosophy of lifelong learning, of taking a holistic view of residents to meet their physical, mental and spiritual needs, and of innovative programs and services that enhance the lives of his residents and staff.
Over the years, he has not only led his organization’s growth and development, but has encouraged continuous personal growth among employees. His affiliation with the University of North Texas' gerontology program as an adjunct professor touched hundreds of students and his mentoring of scores of interns and interested individuals changed perceptions on aging.
His expertise and knowledge had international impact as he was requested to consult and lecture to Chinese aging agencies and universities as they expanded their care programs for the aged. He is in every sense a teacher, challenging those around him to think and act creatively. He was the leading force as a member of the advisory committee that formed Retirement Housing Professionals program at the University of North Texas, which is known as the Coalition for Leadership in Aging Services. He is also a board member on the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of North Texas where he was recently presented with the Daniel M. Johnson Award of Distinction in recognition of extraordinary leadership, community values, and dedication to improving the quality of work and family life.
George Linial, CAE, CASP
President & CEO, LeadingAge Texas