Ray Durbin honored as this week’s Hughes & Coleman Hometown Hero

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 7:54 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Ray Durbin is a volunteer at South Edmonson Elementary, but he is also a war hero, a farmer, and a father.

Mrs. Jessica Doyle, who teaches at the school spoke about Durbin, she says, “he’s just a wonderful male role model for students. And just a wonderful friend to all the staff.

The principal at South Edmonson Elementary also spoke about Mr. Durbin, and says, “he wants to be that positive part of the school. He wants to be that role model for the kids and for the staff.”

Ray says he is grateful for the opportunity, “I am truly overwhelmed and blessed to be able to be considered to be one of them and they truly accept me, as one of them. Nothing else, they elevate me to a position, maybe somewhat above them, which is truly an honor.”

“He’s truly there because he loves the kids, and he loves that time,” says Doyle.

“Mr. Durbin started volunteering last school year. He has. He’s come into the school and completely changed the culture of the school,” said Long.

Durbin says he started volunteering at the school after a personal tragedy, “children have a tremendous capacity for love. So about 27 months ago, I lost my wife 52 years, which created a tremendous love void in my life, and in the ensuing months, I was struggling, trying to find something to fill that void. For someone like me that has struggled, it’s a therapy for me, it helps me tremendously.”

Those at South Edmonson are grateful for everything Mr. Durbin has done.

“South Edmonson is a better place because we have Mr. Durbin I can’t imagine not having him here every day volunteering now. The climate has just changed completely with just his positive attitude, his enthusiasm for kids, and his education. It’s been the greatest addition to South Edmonson that I’ve ever witnessed,” said Long.

Doyle says, “he’s more than a friend, he has become family.”

Durbin adds, “I am overwhelmed that the staff at South Edmondson would think that I would be deserving of this in that, as all the magnificent teachers and support staff they have there that they would think I assemble volunteer would be deserving of this honor of being hometown hero, that to me, that is quite an honor that they would think that I would be deserving of this. And I’m grateful to be part of that family, grateful, and I thank them for allowing me to come there and spend my time. They’re truly a great staff of people, the children are just fantastic, love them all.”

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