Cover photo for R.M. Vito Duran's Obituary

R.M. Vito Duran

August 5, 1934 — May 7, 2024

Portland

R.M. Vito Duran

R.M. Vito Duran passed away peacefully on May 7, 2024, in the presence of his loving family into the arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The youngest son of Dr. Armando Duran and Emma Duran, Vito was born on August 5, 1934, in San Deigo, Texas. Vito graduated from Roy Miller High School in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1953. It was in high school where he met the love of his life, Margot Walker. They married in 1957 and raised their four children in Portland, Texas. 

He was an incredibly loving husband and father with a great sense of humor and enjoyed having a good time with family and friends. He was so deeply in love with his wife Margot, and proud of his children and grandchildren, coaching Little League baseball, and attending countless dance recitals, baseball, softball, soccer games, and choir concerts. He loved the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Astros, Texas Aggies, and of course, the Gregory-Portland Wildcats. He could watch a funny movie over and over again and laugh just as hard every time he saw it. He was a man truly comfortable in his own skin, never met a stranger and was an eternal optimist. 

Following high school, Vito volunteered for the Texas Army National Guard. He proudly served for 12 years, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. 

Vito attended Del Mar College and began his career with Humble Oil Company working in the geology lab. He transitioned to the marketing department, becoming district manager, and was later named the Exxon wholesale bulk agent in Corpus Christi. A few years later Vito and Margot established Duran Petroleum Distributing, Inc., and working side-by-side with their employees, supplied fuel, oil and lubricants to commercial enterprises, such as construction companies, farms, ranches, school districts, shrimpers, the U.S. Coast Guard, and to many ships that entered the Port of Corpus Christi.

Vito was involved for many years in civic activities and politics in Portland. He was elected to the City Council in 1967 at the age of 33, and later became the chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission. As councilman, working closely with the park board, he played an instrumental roll in obtaining the property for both 13 Acre Park, (now Portland Municiple Park), and Bayside Park in Portland. In 1968 he established a youth summer camp program, coordinating the project between the city, the school district, and the Lions Club. He also officiated high school basketball and “hung up the whistle” after 17 years. 

Vito was well known as “The Voice of the Wildcats”. He began broadcasting the Gregory-Portland Wildcat football games on the radio in 1970 and would continue to be on the air for the next 53 years. Vito called more than 590 GP football games on the air, in addition to many basketball and baseball playoff games. Vito cherished his relationships with members of his broadcast team over the years, including Dan Daniels, Bob Tucker, Doug Kesterson, Bill Denton, James Espinoza, Mark Parma, Mike Niebauer, Terry Shannon and others. The Duran family is particularly grateful to Doug for the kindness and patience he had for Vito in his later years, taking him to record the coaches show during the week and helping him travel to so many stadiums and press boxes. Vito was also thankful for the friendships he developed with head coaches Ray Akins, Bruce Bush, Tim Holt, George Harris, Matt Anastacio, Rick Rhoades and current coach Brent Davis. His dedication to the Wildcats was unparalleled, and his presence will be deeply missed by players, coaches, and fans alike.

 Vito's life was a testament to the power of faith, dedication, and community spirit. A devout Catholic, Vito was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Portland. He was also a member of Portland Lions Club, served on many boards and committees over the years, and was always an advocate for youth sports. He was dedicated to making his town a better place for his children, granchildren and all families in Portland. Vito will be remembered not only for his achievements, but also for his kindness, generosity, and the profound impact he had on the lives of those around him. Beyond his dedication to community service, Vito's greatest joy was found in his role as a devoted family man. His unwavering love and support were the cornerstone of his family and Vito leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, and community spirit that touched the lives of all who knew him.

 The family would like to thank Dan King, Nancy Fairchild and the other Eucharistic Ministers at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel who brought Holy Communion to Vito and Margot at home or in the hospital when they were unable to attend Mass. He looked forward to and enjoyed their visits so much every week.

The family would also like to thank the very special and compassionate nurses that cared for him while in hospice care at Bay Area Medical Center: Faith, Jackie, Kayla, Jessica, Dominic, Cassidy, Joanna, Laura and Debbie.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Margot Duran, daughter Karen Cacciapaglia and husband Peter, son Jeff Duran and wife Anita, daughter Susan Bales-Erwin, son David Duran and wife Stephanie; grandsons Joseph (Mandy) Cacciapaglia, Dominic Cacciapaglia, and Nicolas Duran; granddaughters Kendall (Andrew) Fox, Madeline (Thomas) Hetzel, Kia Duran and Claire Duran; great grandson Henry Fox, and two more great grandkids on the way; and brothers Rudy Durand, Hugo Durand and Sergio Duran. He is preceded in death by his father Armando, mother Emma, brother Armando Jr., sisters Evangeline Beverly, Minerva Lucey, and Lillie Duran.

Arrangements are entrusted to Winsteads’ Funeral Home. Visitation will be held at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Portland, Texas at 5:00 pm on Friday, May 17, 2024, followed by the Rosary at 7:00 pm. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 1:00 pm also at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, where family and friends will come together to honor and remember a remarkable man whose legacy will endure for generations to come. In Vito’s honor donations can be made to Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services,  or any charitable organization close to your heart.

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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, May 17, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church

1008 Austin St, Portland, TX 78374

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rosary

Friday, May 17, 2024

7:00 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church

1008 Austin St, Portland, TX 78374

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Saturday, May 18, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church

1008 Austin St, Portland, TX 78374

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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