Grove names Durvin Woman of the Year for 34th Assembly District

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Grove names Durvin Woman of the Year for 34th Assembly DistrictRidgecrest’s own Little Deer Durvin has been named “Woman of the Year” for the 34th Assembly District of the California State Legislature.

On Monday, March 10, Durvin will be honored at the State Capitol, along with one Woman of the Year from each of the other assembly districts.

“Little Deer’s dedication to Ridgecrest and all of Kern County is truly admirable,” said Shannon Grove, state assemblywoman for District 34, who selected Durvin for the honor. “The time she devotes to her community is a testament to how a person can improve the lives of untold numbers of people.”

“I am honored and humbled to receive such wonderful recognition,” said Durvin. “I’m overwhelmed.”

She is a tireless advocate for child education, devoted to helping others through a variety of organizations and passionate about sharing her Cherokee culture.

Born in North Carolina on a Cherokee reservation, she came to Ridgecrest in 1972 with her young children. She worked as a security guard on base for 11 years, after hours studying administration of justice at Cero Coso Community College.

She owned and operated Little Deer’s Family Child Care and Preschool for nearly 25 years, closing the doors only when her beloved husband, Bill Durvin, became seriously ill.

She has been a member of the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce for many years, including service on the chamber’s board. She has been a devoted chamber ambassador as well.

She is a member of the Rotary Club of the Indian Wells Valley and the Elks Lodge, a board member of the Salvation Army, a board member of Desert Area Resources and Training and a volunteer performer for DART’s INFORM Jr. Children’s Self-Help Puppet Show. She is a fierce fundraiser, grant writer, and champion of causes she believes in.

She organized the Ridgecrest chapter of the Cherokee Communi-ty of Central California and is the CC of CC’s local representative. Through this organization, Durvin has led a team of CC of CC members in putting on events, including fun raisers, for the annual Cherokee Community Hog Fry and Inter-Tribal Pow Wow each November.

She volunteers her time to go to local schools, clubs, and senior facilities to give presentations on Cherokee culture.

Although she is now the primary careperson for Bill, she still manages to crochet baby clothes to be donated to some of the new mothers at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, in addition to attending myriad meetings and events whenever possible.

Throughout her distinguished career, Durvin has worked with many charitable, educational and childcare provider organizations, charities, participated in parades, and more. She has received more awards than there is space to list here.

Durvin said she does not do any of this for personal recognition, although that follows her wherever she goes.

According to her friends, she is a woman who sees what needs to get done and then sets about doing it, preferably with a group of others so all can enjoy the rewards of volunteering.

Story First Published: 2014-03-05