| Craig Walton Durrett|
(Arkansas and Louisiana journalist)
|Born|| January 13, 1955 |
El Dorado, Union County, Arkansas
|Died|| May 11, 2015 |
|Spouse||Miriam Kaye Lokey Durrett|
A native of El Dorado in Union County in southern Arkansas, Durrett was the only child of George Walton Durrett (1926-1977), originally from Panola County, Mississippi, and the former Henrietta Burge (born c. 1929). His parents married in Union County in 1950. His father, who died at the age of fifty, is interred at Arlington Memorial Park in El Dorado.
He studied at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston under Wiley W. Hilburn, Jr. He joined The Shreveport Times in September 1978 and focused on general coverage of neighboring Bossier City until 1983, when he relocated to Monroe, where he became the city editor of the Monroe News Star. From 1987 to 1991, he became the state editor and held other positions too with the since defunct Arkansas Gazette, absorbed by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, published since 1991 by Walter E. Hussman, Jr. Durrett returned to The Shreveport Times in 1991, at which he was a reporter, columnist, assistant managing editor in 1994, and his final position, editorial page editor in December 2002. He was particularly known for his wisdom, wit, compassion, and community leadership.
The Shreveport Times publisher Alan English recalled that Durrett "wrote, edited and guided countless stories for decades ... and through the appropriate lens. ... Craig didn't know when work started and ended, because he lived journalism. He could be found putting the punctuation on a late editorial and up the next morning to meet someone for breakfast. Craig was a storyteller."
On April 15, 2012, in his last Shreveport Times column, Durrett said that he was "leaving the notebooks, [but] taking the memories" with him. "My love for journalism took hold at Louisiana Tech University. Newspapering has provided an interesting way to make a living and an outstanding way to get to know this community. ... All along the way, there were encounters with many great people, those folks who made me and my wife choose to make North Louisiana home. ... This is a wonderful community that can only get better with an informed public."
Durrett died from complications of disseminated zoster virus. A memorial service was held on May 16, 2015, at the First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport. He is survived by his wife, the former Miriam Kaye Lokey (born August 1955), of Shreveport; daughter Elizabeth Durrett Rose and husband, John Rose, of Dallas, Texas; son Philip and wife, Marie, also of Dallas; and his mother, Henrietta Durrett of El Dorado.
Former Shreveport Times editor Judy Pace Christie (born December 1956), who operates a consulting service, offered this analysis of Durrett: "He cared about the news, but he cared about people more. He approached each story and column with a sense of fairness and a kind heart, committed to helping our community be well-informed. He blessed countless people in his professional and personal life."
- George Walton Durrett. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on September 3, 2017.
- John Andrew Prime (May 14, 2015). Craig Durrett memorial services set. Retrieved on May 16, 2015.
- John Andrew Prime (May 11, 2015). Craig Durrett, veteran journalist, dies. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on May 15, 2015.
- Miriam Durrett. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on May 15, 2015.