Durwood Emory (Durk) Corley, 93, died on Saturday, June 15 at Hendrick Hospice Care in Abilene. He was born in Olney, Texas on August 24, 1925, the third child of Emory and Anne Bird Corley. He grew up in Olney and graduated from Olney High School in May of 1942. While growing up, he assisted his father with chores on the family farm in Throckmorton County near Elbert.
In September 1942, Mr. Corley enrolled in Texas Technical College (now Texas Tech University), to study Electrical Engineering. During World War II, he entered the United States Navy and served as an Electronic Technician’s Mate. During a leave from the U.S. Navy he married Miss Rodway “Roddye” Sue Keen of Sierra Blanca, Texas, having met on a tennis court at Texas Tech. His wife was with him as he served at various duty stations around the country.
Upon discharge from the U.S. Navy, Mr. Corley returned to Texas Tech and earned a degree in Electrical Engineering in May 1947. His first employment after college was with Schlumberger Well Surveying Corp. as a Field Engineer in Midland. He was later District Manager for Schlumberger in Spur and Haskell, Texas. In 1953, he and a few other engineers formed the Elgen Corporation, a successful wireline well logging company. Elgen had many operating bases throughout the southwestern and Rocky Mountain areas of the U.S. In 1958, Elgen was purchased by Dresser Industries and Mr. Corley was an executive with the Lane Wells division of Dresser.
In 1966, Mr. Corley and his brother – in – law, Sid Wetsel, purchased the White Motor Dealership in Abilene, Texas, and renamed it Corley – Wetsel White Truck. In 1967, Mr. Corley and his wife, Sue Corley, formed C & W Leasing Corporation – a company dedicated to heavy duty truck leasing. These two organizations have grown into a network of 24 service facilities in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. They now offer Freightliner and Western Star trucks for sale, service and lease. He was an avid airplane pilot and logged many hours in his beloved Bellancas.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sue, his parents, and both of his sisters, Leona and Helen. Mr. Corley is survived by two sons, Vic and wife Carol of Abilene, and Val of Lubbock; two daughters, Carolyn Wyly of Houston and Celia Corley-Davis of Santa-Fe, Texas; four grandsons, Clay Corley and wife Brittney of McGregor, TX, Cade Corley and wife Rae of Abilene, Connor Davis of Houston, TX, Christopher Corley of Marble Falls, TX; three granddaughters, Calli and husband Jay Ashley of Tulsa, OK, Coley and husband Justin Tatyrek of Santa Fe, TX, and Kristen Corley of Marble Falls, TX; five great-grandchildren, Cason, Nash, Cash, Miles, and Emory; and five nieces, Dee Ann Chapin of Shawnee Mission, KS, Carol Bocell of Grand Prairie, Marsha Chapin of Independence, MO, Lana Joe Chapin Schermach of Allison, CO and Susie Glenn of McKinney.
Visitation was held at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, TX 79606 on Tuesday, June 18 from 6 – 9 PM. A graveside service was held on Wednesday, June 19 at 11 AM in the family plot at Restland Cemetery in Olney, TX with The Reverend Bill Libby, Chaplain, (Col.) USA – Retired officiating. Pallbearers were Clay Corley, Cade Corley, Connor Davis, Justin Tatyrek, and Christopher Corley.
Mr. Corley’s family would like to extend a very special thanks to his caretakers, Bernadette, Glenda, Janeta, Loren, and Luz. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to McMurry University, Methodist Food Pantry, or Hendrick Hospice Care, all of Abilene.