CWO4 USNR (Retired) Ted Durante of Cheyenne unexpectedly passed away in the presence of his family on October 1st at the age of 71.
Ted was born on November 7, 1949 to Donald and Dorothy Durante also of Cheyenne. Ted was a 1968 graduate of East High School and also attended the University of Wyoming for 1 year prior to his military service. In February of 1969 Ted joined the United States Naval Reserve. He served a tour in Vietnam with the Navy’s Construction Battalion and Maintenance Unit 302 also known as the Fighting Seabees. His mission was to build dependent housing for the South Vietnamese Navy members and their families. After his tour Ted continued his dedication to the US armed forces in the Naval Reserve for another 30 years before retiring as Chief Warrant Officer 4 in 1999. In 1989 Ted continued his civilian career working for the Department of Defense as a civilian construction inspector and quality controller at F.E. Warren Air Force Base and retired in 2012. Ted continued to support the armed forces as a volunteer for the ESGR and served as the chair for the state of Wyoming for a number of years. Ted also helped organize the 2015 Wyoming Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event, and also opened his home to numerous sailors during the Adopt a Sailor Program when Members of the USS Cheyenne Visited during Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Ted was an avid outdoorsman as well as a skilled hunter and fisherman. He made many memories in the outdoors with his children, grandchildren, cousin and close friend, Larry (Mary) Durante, as well as numerous other friends he touched.Ted was a loving husband to his wife, father and mentor to his children and cherished friend to so many people.
Ted is survived by his wife, Kay Durante; his three children, Neil (Sara) Durante, Brett (Brandy) Durante, Allison Durante and their mother, Peggy Durante. He is also survived by his step-children, Grant Schmalstich, Justin (Kelly) Schmalstich, Brianne Schmalstich, Douglas (Caitlin) Schmalstich, and Brendan Schmalstich; his grandchildren, Lincoln, Penelope, Abram, and Tellar Durante and his bonus grandchildren Ryan, Colin, Shea, Brynlee, and Charlie Mae Schmalstich.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy; his father, Donald; his aunt, Jean Georges and uncle, Chuck Rohwer.
A memorial to celebrate Ted’s life will be held on Friday, November 5, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the King of Glory Lutheran Church. Interment will follow at the Cheyenne National Cemetery. Cremation is under the care of Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home, 2222 Russell Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82001.
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