On Saturday Sept. 25, 2021 the Globe-Miami community lost an extraordinary man. While riding in a car to participate in one his favorite pastimes – trap shooting – Dr. Mike fell asleep, as he almost always did while riding in a car, and just did not wake up. He was seventy-eight years old. He would have agreed that this was a good way to leave this world. He was known by everybody simply as “Dr. Mike” and practiced medicine in the community for nearly forty years before reluctantly retiring in 2017. He was loved and respected by nearly everyone, and was famous for speaking his mind, his incredible dedication to his patients, his patriotism and combat service as a US Marine, and his love of old cars. Those who knew him for more than a minute would quickly come to appreciate his sense of humor. You could tell him a joke one day, and have him laugh until he had tears in his eyes, and tell him the same joke two weeks later and get the same response. Those who worked with him over the years will remember his famous pipe, which he continued to hold in his teeth even while rounding on his patients in the hospital. He deeply loved his community and showed his love by his perennial kindness and his generosity.
Dr. Mike was originally from Southern New Jersey. His father, Dr. Robert Durham, was one of the nation’s first cardiologists. Upon graduation from high school, Dr. Mike enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He became a scout sniper and completed two combat tours in Vietnam before returning stateside and completing his military service as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. Thereafter he soon enrolled in college where he met his future wife, Dottie, who became his partner for the next fifty-three years. After completing college, he was informed by several US medical schools he was “too old.” Refusing to give up, he applied, and was accepted to medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico. In short order, Dr. Mike and Dottie, with their newborn son, moved to Guadalajara and started their adventure. After graduating with honors from medical school, Dr. Mike then completed his post-graduate medical training at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. While looking for a good place to start his practice and raise a family, he discovered Eastern Arizona, settling in Globe. The fact he spoke flawless Spanish endeared him to the Hispanic community in the area. It was 1980, and now he and Dottie had two sons, David and Robert. The family made Globe their home, and Dr. Mike quickly developed his reputation for his skill as a physician, his pride as a US Marine combat veteran, and his bedside manner. He is survived by his lovely wife, Dottie, his sons Dr. David Durham and Robert Durham, his sister Sharon Brooks and his brother Robert Durham, Jr. Funeral services will be held Friday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m., at High Desert Middle School in Globe.