Cover photo for Durell LeRoy Harbison's Obituary
Durell LeRoy Harbison Profile Photo
1946 Durell 2023

Durell LeRoy Harbison

September 9, 1946 — October 20, 2023

Durell Leroy Harbison, born September 9, 1946 passed away on October 20, 2023.  He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Lois Harbison, his brother-in-law Sam McNearney, and is survived by his spouse Gale Harbison, his sister Lorna McNearney, his children Annie Nash, Jess Harbison (Lora), Leslie Fontana (Brett), Jeff Jensen (Michelle), Jenny Jensen, eleven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.  Durell loved being outdoors, and if he wasn’t hunting (usually with his outlaw hunting GTE buddies), fishing, hiking (often with Annie or Jess on his back), or riding an ATV with the Panhandle Rider’s Association, he would be drinking his morning cup of coffee outside on the porch regardless of the temperature.  Durell had many nicknames, but the one everything seems to know is “Dirty D”.  Not sure if this meant Dirty Dog due to the 14 or so hound dogs, he raised to bear hunt or if it was a reference to “Dirty Durell”, maybe his outlaw hunting buddies need to come clean with the real story.  Another interesting and little-known fact is he was an exceptional experimental cook and would often use every leftover in the refrigerator to create some of the worst meals you would ever taste, like leftover creamed corn in the morning pancakes, or a now historically known delicacy “Safari Surprise”.   

Anyone that knows Durell also knew he could not stay idle, even after retiring from GTE with 30+ years, he always needed to build, repair, camp, or clean-up something daily to feel like work was getting accomplished. However, it is this same drive to accomplish something that ensured his children knew how to survive even if faced with an apocalypse.   He also liked to travel, even though he was born and lived in Sandpoint all his life, he visited Norway, Hungary, went on several cruises, and saw multiple States from Coast to Coast.  Nevertheless, his favorite place to travel was Arizona, where Durell and Gale had a small house where he would hide away from the snow and enjoy the sun as a snowbird, maybe that cup of coffee was getting cold in the morning after all.  While in Arizona, Durell loved to take Gale on their side-by-side ATV and just drive across endless miles of Arizona frontier to see the country.  He also liked to cross into Mexico for some shrimp, tortilla chips and salsa, and a nice pitcher of margaritas before he headed over to look at hats (as long as they had interesting catch phrases) and belt buckles.  Durell loved life, and he liked to have fun, but his best quality was he would do most anything for his family and friends.  He was a loving husband, incredible father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and would drop everything to help out or lend a hand when needed.  Durell will truly be missed, and the world is simply a little poorer now that he has passed.

Graveside services will be conducted at 10:00 am, Friday, October 27, 2023 in Pinecrest Memorial Park.  Immediately following the graveside service there will be a Celebration of Life at The Dirty Dog Ranch 14 Railroad Ave, Ponderay, ID.  A public viewing and visitation will be held from , 2:00pm - 6:00pm on Thursday, October 27, 2023 in Coffelt's Funeral Chapel.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, October 26, 2023

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Pacific time)

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Graveside Service

Friday, October 27, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Pacific time)

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