The Foundation is a perfect vehicle to ensure Joe & Dody's charitable spirit and endeavors live on...
Always the entrepreneur, Joseph was appointed to the State's Board of Economic Development by MN Governor Wendell Anderson and dabbled in many ventures. During this time, he co-founded Aeration Industries International, Inc. with his son, Daniel. He was a visionary. The company's patented equipment is working today in over 92 countries worldwide making his dream to help clean the world's polluted water come true and through aquaculture, to help provide a protein food source for the world's growing population. Joseph and his lovely wife of 50 years, Dody, were very spiritual people who felt very blessed and had a heartfelt compassion to give to those less fortunate, to the disabled and disadvantaged, many times anonymously.
Please see "In Memoriam: Co-Founder Leaves Worldwide Legacy" > >
The world was celebrating New Year's eve in the late hours 1919 when Joseph Durda was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the second son of seven children born to hard working immigrant parents. He excelled in boxing and football at Marshall high school that opened a valuable opportunity for him, a treasured college education via a football scholarship. Joseph graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
He never forgot 'where he came from' ... and the scholarship that changed his life forever.
Throughout World War II, many of our "Greatest Generation" were asked to give much and in return, they delivered much more! Joseph was amongst them. He served as a naval aviator in the South Pacific theatre during the War and received many decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross (2), Air Medal (4), Seven Battle Stars, Presidential Unit Citation and Commendation Ribbon. He was released from active duty in 1946. Upon returning to civilian life in Minnesota, Joseph was employed as a Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff while attending night law school at William Mitchell College of Law.
Korean War. In early 1952, the Durda family included three children and had just lost a fourth child unexpectedly, an infant son. Joseph was then recalled to active duty for the Korean War. Returning to active duty precluded him from finishing his final year and graduating from law school. He served as a naval intelligence officer and aviator for the next decade in various capacities including head of Naval Recruitment in Washington D.C. and Executive Officer on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bennington CVA 20, attaining the rank of Commander in the early 1960's.
The Foundation cherish the hardships all our veterans and their families endure to keep this nation safe. Having lost an infant son to illness and having a disabled granddaughter also made Joe and Dody sensitive of the impact and needs of debilitating health issues.