WYLIE (CBS 11 SPORTS) – It’s been more than two months since the sudden and shocking passing of ESPN reporter Richard Durrett. The 38-year-old Rangers beat writer left behind a family of three — soon to be four.
On Monday, September 8 friends and former colleagues are holding an event in Richard’s honor. A concert and silent auction will take place at Bill Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth. All the money from the auctions will go to the Richard Durrett Family Fund.
Speaking for the first time since her husband’s death, widow Kelly Durrett spoke to CBS 11 Sport’s Jane Slater. “I was right at 11 or 12 weeks when this all happened,” she said.
During our talk Kelly said the last time she saw her husband was at the airport in mid-June. He had dropped the family off to finish up work. Richard was planning on meeting the family at Disneyland but collapsed in the home office of the family home.
Initially the cause of death was reported as a brain aneurysm though Kelly said the family is still unclear on the official cause of death. She said her husband was an active runner, ate well and had no symptoms or signs of anything wrong before it happened. “For a little while, you hope it’s the wrong person. You hope they mixed something up.”
The now single mother said reality set in last week when her son Owen started school and Richard wasn’t there. “These are the things you picture doing together, so that was hard,” she said, adding, “But at the same time you want to focus on the positive things.”
Like focusing on the gift she said has yet to be ‘delivered’ from her husband.
“My daughter was the one who said, ‘we are going to have to teach the baby about daddy.’ I said, ‘yeah they won’t know.’ So I think they are starting to kind of think that way,” Kelly said of her children. “I said ‘that will be our job to make sure that baby knows how much he loved you and how much he loved them.’”
Kelly said she just recently joined social media and was comforted by the support of the community. “I don’t think he realized how much people really did appreciate who he was and what he did, or his work and personality and values. It’s all flooded back to us and I think he would be stunned.”
Food is abundant is the Durrett house, but Kelly said she has yet to cook a meal. Friends have taken care of dinner every night since Richard’s passing.
Looking ahead, Kelly said she looks forward to hugging those who loved and cared for her husband at the event on Sept. 8. Incidentally, Billy Bob’s is where she first met her husband. The two had gone out, separately, after band practice. They both played in the TCU Horned Frog Marching Band.
For more information on the event go to the Do It For Durrett website. Casey Donahew will be performing at the concert, along with Rhett Miller and Daphne Willis.
Auction items include signed Dez Bryant cleats and jersey, a Derek Jeter signed bat, autographed Kliff Kingsbury shades and many, many more items in various auctioned lots.
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