Leonard Alvin Durant (Lenny) was born Boston, MA on September 24, 1936 through Hazel (Jones/Durant) Isles and B. Collymore and transitioned into eternal life on August 15, 2021. Lenny’s hard-fought battle with an incurable disease showed his courage in facing health challenges for many years while remaining a true unsung hero to his family and community.
In 1970, Lenny began his community activist work at the Boston Black United Front (the Front) and was involved in the successful mission to “Stop I-95 People Before Highways” currently known as the “Southwest Corridor.” During this season of his life Lenny was awarded the Loeb’s Fellowship Scholarship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design lending community organizing expertise to an urban planning project impacting the residents of the former Columbia Point Public Housing Projects. Lenny’s love for his community also included years of involvement with various committees and coalitions to develop Roxbury Community College (RCC), playing a significant role in bringing to life the construction of its current site located in his beloved Roxbury. Lenny served with and chaired numerous community engaged organizations, boards and committees well into his 70s.
Lenny loved watching programs on the History, National Geographic, nature and animal channels. He appreciated good music, loved his classic jazz and the stories behind the music. For many years his daily routine included morning exercise, long walks through the community – stopping by to chop it up with friends, family and people he didn’t even know. His route often took him through his native Roxbury community, up Humboldt Avenue, through his childhood neighborhood, formerly known as Sugar Hill, in and around Franklin Park and the golf course, by his beloved Aunt Rite’s family home on Homestead Street – and on Thursdays—he would make his trek to Dudley Station to pick up a copy of the Bay State Banner.
Of all his amazing and fulfilling community work and dedication to “helping his people,” he considered his greatest work to be his role as “Dad.” Lenny leaves to celebrate his life and continue his legacy – the loving mother of his children and beloved ex-wife, Pauline Durant; his children Leonard, Pamela, Anthony and Rochelle; his grandchildren Jermaine Anthony Watson (Wendy Lee Watson), Erica Nyssa Durant, Brie Bulliner Durant and Jaida Marie Judge; his great-grandchildren Phoenix Anthony Watson, Magnus Anthony Watson, Jaiden Alexander Hart and Jaice Amir Hart; and a host of sisters-in law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Preceding him in death were his mother, Hazel Isles, birth father, B. Collymore and siblings James M. Durant, Jr., Constance (Durant) Newball, William Durant and Kenneth Durant.