Samuel Duran

Obituary of Samuel Duran

Samuel S. Duran was born in Westminster, CA when his parents were on their way to sell produce from a farm they had in Norwalk, CA.  At 8 years of age, Sam is listed in the 1940 Census as living in Thermal, CA with his parents-Samuel Duran & Aurora Moreno Duran; and, 4 siblings:  Antonio (11), Richard (9), Juanita (7), and Merced (5).  Sam grew up in Coachella, on a farm and attended school in Indio, CA.  Samuel learned to box at a young age, was quite good, and kept boxing as a hobby through the rest of his life, by either sparing or rooting as an avid fan.  With Sam’s zeal for strength and fitness, it resulted in a “James Dean” persona-by wearing a black leather jacket, black slacks, and driving a Twin Indian Motorcycle.  Sam got the reputation as the Terror of Highway 99 in the 50’s.  Sam’s appearance rivaled that of a movie star.

Sam’s cousin, Ray Martinez, taught him masonry and construction.  From this beginning, a new entrepreneurial career developed into Sam’s sole proprietorship as “Duran Steel”.  Sam obtained a contractor’s license, and was excellent at forming rebar foundations for swimming pools.  Sam’s business spanned Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.

Sam was generous yet humble, and opened his house and business to family and friends.  Sam played hard by hosting many parties in his home; and, worked hard by mentoring many people throughout the life of Sam’s business.  Sam donated money, labor, and resources to many non-profit organizations:  Catholic Church, Boys Homes, Victory Outreach, and Pee Wee T-ball.

Sam married his teen-age sweetheart-Balana (Bali, Alexandria) Balderas, and was devoted to his wife, children and family for 65 years.  Sam retired on 10 acres in Joshua Tree, CA 14 years ago.  Sam loved the wide open space, and serenity of the great outdoors.  Sam was a big animal lover.  Sam had many dogs, and found the good in every one of God’s little creatures.  Sam left a legacy of honor, a unique entrepreneurial spirit, and devotion we all respected and will miss dearly.

Samuel passed away on September 12, 2017 with his loving family by his side. Sam is survived by his wife, “Bali” Alexandria Duran of Joshua Tree, CA; his daughter, Lorina S. Duran of Corona del Mar, CA; his son’s, Samuel S. Duran of Ancho, NM, Christopher Duran of Joshua Tree, CA and Juan D. Duran of Joshua Tree, CA; his brother, Robert M. Duran of Alta Loma, Ca; his sister’s, Lillian Arriola of San Bernardino, CA and Marian Silva of Upland, CA; son-in-law, Roger Sage; daughter-in-law, Liz Duran; 6 grandchildren & 7 great-grandchildren.

Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel S. and Aurora M. Duran of San Bernardino, CA; bother’s, Tony Gonzales of Azusa, CA, Richard Duran of San Bernardino, CA, Merced Duran of Fontana, CA, Carlos “Chuckie” Duran of Fontana, CA and his sister, Jenny Romero of San Bernardino, CA.

Samuel’s life will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church of Banning, CA. Visitation will begin at 10am; Rosary 11am; Mass 12pm, with Burial immediately following at San Gorgonio Memorial Park of Banning, CA. Arrangements entrusted to Wiefels & Son Mortuary of Banning, CA.