Francis X. Durso was born September 8, 1936 in North Bergen, NJ. He was the fifth child of Angela (Battafarano) and Michael Durso. He is survived by his two daughters and their families - Elena, Steve, Kendra and Juliana Barham and Andrea, Steve, Rachel, and Kaitlyn Lehn. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Kathleen (Ott) Durso, and his five other siblings: Leonard, Marie, Richard, Eleanora, and Anthony Durso.
Mr. Durso started his career in 1958 as an Electrical Engineer in the Base Civil Engineer's office at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. He was a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Nebraska and New Jersey.
He joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1962 as a Facilitates Engineer, designing industrial and research-type facilities at Plum Brook Station under the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. It was during his time in Ohio that he met and married his beloved wife of 47 years, Kathleen. The couple then moved to Arlington, Virginia, in 1973 when he was transferred to NASA Headquarters to serve as the Chief of the Utilities Energy Management Branch. During this time, two daughters – Elena and Andrea – were welcomed into the Durso family.
In 1982 Mr. Durso was placed in charge of the Facilities Planning and Projects Office at NASA Headquarters, where he orchestrated NASA's major facilities construction programs for 13 years, during which time he was also appointed to the Senior Executive Service. In 1995 he was transferred to serve as the Director of Facilities Engineering at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. In 1997 he retired after more than 39 years of continuous U.S. Government Federal Civil Service.
In a parallel career, Mr. Durso also rose through the ranks of the United States Air National Guard to become the commander of a Regional Wartime Construction Management organization. He retired at the rank of full Colonel.
He was active in the Roman Catholic Church throughout his life and served as the volunteer head of the lector program at multiple churches throughout most of his adult life. More recently he helped coordinate mass services on site at his retirement community, The Glenridge.
Mr. Durso was a devoted family man and wonderful father and grandfather. During the final years of his wife’s battle with Alzheimer’s he was a true example of the beauty of love between a husband and wife as he provided her with exceptional care. He also took great pride in the accomplishments of his two daughters and continued to provide encouragement and support to both of his girls and their families. He was loved and will be missed greatly by his family and friends.