Giselle Durar, known to many of her friends as Yael Duran, passed away Jan. 19, 2020 in Coos Bay. Members of Temple Beth Israel will hold a memorial for her at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, at the Eugene Masonic Cemetery. Rabbi Jackie Brodsky will also lead a memorial for her at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, before Congregation Mayim Shalom’s Shabbat service at the North Bend Public Library.
Born Hazel Durar, she spent her youth in the New York area. She attended Washington Irving High School, where her lifelong love of singing was nurtured, and later Hunter College, where she studied physical therapy.
Durar served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. During the 1960s, she performed as a singing waiter in Boston. She took the name Giselle, and many also knew her by her Hebrew name Yael and the surname Duran.
Durar worked as a physical therapist at the Metheny School in New Jersey and also in Switzerland and Israel. Fluent in French and Hebrew, she enjoyed travel and went scuba diving in Kenya, among other adventures.
Durar returned to the United States around 1980 and settled in Eugene, where she was active in social justice organizations and Jewish women’s groups. She published fictionalized memoirs in the feminist newspaper Womyn’s Press. A proud Jew and an ardent Torah scholar, she was a member of Temple Beth Israel.
In the 2000s, Durar moved to North Bend, where she joined Congregation Mayim Shalom and served on its board. She enjoyed spending time at Bastendorff Beach.
Durar was a longtime friend of Bill W.
Her parents, Margaret Loring and George Haven Durar; sister, Helen Durar Willie; and brother, George Haven Durar Jr. preceded Durar in death.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com
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