Founder of Madison Messenger passes away

Jim Durban

(Posted March 22, 2023)

With great sadness, the Madison Messenger announces the passing of Jim Durban, the newspaper’s founder, advertising manager, and office manager. Jim was one-of-a-kind and will be deeply missed as a friend, co-worker, and business leader.

JIM DURBAN  (April 17, 1948 – March 19, 2023)

Jim Michael Durban, 74, of London, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at Madison Health.

Born on April 17, 1948, in Franklin County, he was the son of Betty Ann (Bentz) and Carl Smiley Durban.

Jim was a 1966 graduate of Pleasant View High School. He went on to work as a bank teller, as an employee of Sun Oil Co., and as circulation manager for the Madison Press. He and his father, Carl, ran C&J Auction in West Jefferson for many years. Jim also worked the office at Tri-Green Interstate Equipment on auction days.

In 1985, Jim and his mother, Betty, started the Madison Messenger, a weekly newspaper that covers all of Madison County. As the Messenger’s advertising manager and office manager, Jim took great pride in serving his customers and the community. He also was a Madison Health Foundation Business Partner and served on the Madison County 4-H Endowment Board.

When it came to pursuing his interests or trying something new, Jim was all-in, from selling antiques at Heart of Ohio in Springfield to starting a gem-mining attraction to entertain visitors at local festivals.

To know Jim was to know someone who lived and gave with his whole heart. He was generous, compassionate, fun-loving, and the most dedicated friend a person could have. He will be deeply missed.

Jim leaves behind many friends, including special friends: Grant and Brittany Zerkle and their children Gavin, Ethan, and Izzy; Connie Ballah and Judy Green; Bob and Sue Emmelhainz; and longtime co-workers, Becky Barker and Kristy Zurbrick.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A special thank-you is given to all of the friends who lent Jim support, companionship, and care over the past couple of years and to London Fire/EMS for their assistance the past few months.

A funeral service will be held at 7 p.m. March 28 in Eberle-Fisher Funeral Home and Crematory, London, with Gordon Johnson officiating. Friends may call at the funeral home from 3 p.m. until the time of services.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation,

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