Cover photo for Dr. Durwood William Beatty's Obituary
Dr. Durwood William Beatty Profile Photo
1930 Dr. Durwood William Beatty 2023

Dr. Durwood William Beatty

April 8, 1930 — June 14, 2023




Dr. Durwood William Beatty, age 93 and a retired professor of agronomy at Murray State University, died on June 14, 2023 at the Murray-Calloway County Hospital surrounded by friends.  Durwood was born to John and Laura Honish Beatty in Flint, Michigan on April 8, 1930.  He grew up in the small town of Otter Lake, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s and master’s in agronomy.  He met his beloved Wilma at Michigan State.  Durwood Beatty and Wilma Stark married on December 18, 1953 in Manchester, Michigan. As Durwood was an only child, he enjoyed gaining Len, Dick, Doug, and Lois as his new siblings.  After serving in the US Army, Durwood earned a PhD in agronomy from Iowa State University.


Wilma preceded Durwood in death in 2018.  They raised three independent children: Steven Allan from Marshalltown, IA and husband Daniel Selby; Laurie from Murphy, TX and husband Steve Shook; and Lynne from Lawrence, KS.  Durwood is also survived by grandson Chris Shook and wife Jahyun Kang of Seoul, South Korea and grandson Ben Shook from Murphy, TX.  Durwood’s family of friendships extended across the community from the College Terrace neighborhood, the Senior Center lunch table, his church, his volunteering, and all those with whom he shared a love of camping on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Peninsula.  His love of nature led to adventures in more than 35 National Parks.


Durwood was a member of the Murray Kiwanis Club for more than 45 years, a First Baptist Church deacon, Sunday School teacher, and a volunteer with the 4-H program in geology and geocaching for over 20 years.  He loved sharing his hobbies of rock collecting, geocaching, and genealogy with people of all ages. Durwood was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Kentucky 4-H Volunteers Hall of Fame.


A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 19, 2023, at the First Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky with Dr. Greg Earwood and Bro. Boyd Smith officiating. Burial will follow in the Murray City Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Sunday, June 18, 2023, at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home & Cremation Services.


Expressions of sympathy can be made to Send Relief, 4200 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, Georgia 30022 or to the First Baptist Church World Mission Offering, 203 South 4th Street, Murray, Kentucky 42071.


Online condolences can be made at,



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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, June 18, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

J. H. Churchill Funeral Home

201 S 3rd St, Murray, KY 42071

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Funeral Service

Monday, June 19, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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