New York 2

D. Darby Duryea II

March 6, 1950 ~ June 1, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old

D. Darby Duryea II Obituary

D. Darby Duryea II, 73, departed peacefully from this world on June 1, 2023, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends.

Darby was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 6, 1950, to Marjory Foster Duryea and David Darby Duryea I.  As a child, he contracted polio in the final wave of the disease before the vaccine became available, a condition that left him physically impaired and required a long recovery. Undaunted, he excelled in school and attended Lafayette College where he was a proud member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. After his graduation in 1972 he moved to New York City where he began a long and successful career in marine insurance at Johnson & Higgins, the largest privately-held insurance brokerage firm in the world at the time.  

In 1984 he was transferred to San Francisco to serve as manager of Johnson & Higgins' Marine & Aviation Department and Pacific Region Coordinator. He became a partner at the firm and in 1992 was promoted to Chairman of the National Marine Practice, at which time he returned to New York. During his career, he was awarded numerous professional honors and designations. Following the purchase of Johnson and Higgins by Marsh and McLennan, Darby retired at the age of 47.

Darby was a classic gentleman of his era -- refined, polished, personable, and possessed a droll wit. He appreciated the beauty of life and had a finely developed aesthetic sense. He had a great eye and loved collecting art and antiques. He was the center of a large social circle and enjoyed nothing more than the company of his many friends.

Unmarried at the time of his retirement, Darby renovated a weekend home in Bellport, New York, where he often entertained his retinue of friends from the New York area. It was here that he met the love of his life and future wife, Laura Horning, whom he married in 1999. They moved to New Vernon, New Jersey, where Darby shepherded another extensive property renovation. He would have been a marvelous architect! In 2002, Darby and Laura were blessed with twins, and moved to Akron, Ohio - Laura’s hometown, to be close to her large, vibrant family, so that the children could grow up with their cousins. 

In Akron, a town he truly came to love, Darby joined Laura in the real estate world, where he once again proved to have the Midas touch. His love of art, architecture and photography translated well to the real estate business, and his leadership inspired not only Laura but other agents he mentored. He also completed his 3rd renovation/expansion where he lent his gifts for design and detail, this one in Fairlawn Heights.

Darby loved golf, travel, and music. His biggest joy was his family.  He was a dedicated husband and father to his twins, Trip and Grace, and delighted in participating in many dimensions of their childhood and young adult lives. Both children became students at Ohio State, and Darby became a huge Ohio State fan. He enjoyed his many visits to Columbus and reveled in every moment of school glory. We were thrilled he was able to celebrate Grace’s OSU Class of 2023 graduation in Columbus in person.

Throughout his life, Darby lent his leadership to numerous non-profit organizations in New York, San Francisco, and Akron. These included, among others, The Leukemia Society, Third Street Music School Settlement, South Street Seaport Museum, National Maritime Society, and Rotary Camp of Akron.

Darby is survived by his wife, Laura Horning Duryea, and their twins, David Darby III “Trip” and Grace Duryea, as well as his brother Stephen (Holly) Duryea, sister Sally Duryea, father-in-law Ted (Jacque) Horning, sister-in-law Betsy (Jeffery) Sartori, brother-in-law Paul (Suzanne) Horning, sister-in-law Patty Horning, brother-in-law Jimmy (Tanya) Horning, as well as many nieces and nephews who he adored.

Donations, if desired, can be mailed to Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs, 4460 Rex Lake Drive,

Akron, Ohio 44319 or online at

A private celebration of life will be held.

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