Honoring Two Great Men

Albert Durkee
Albert Durkee


"Big Mike" Antil
“Big Mike” Antil

In the summer of 2007, Jerry Antil returned to Cortland, New York where he delivered the eulogy to honor his sister Dorothy.  The service was attended by many of his high school basketball teammates who had shared the improbable experience of a 1956-57 championship season so many years ago.  Mr. Antil was struck by his friends’ support, many of whom he had not seen in a number of years.  At the service Jerry spoke with Jane Durkee Edlund whose father Albert Durkee had  been a partner with Jerry’s father Michael Antil, Sr. in the very successful Durkee’s Bakery  in Homer NY.  Big Mike Antil (6’6”) was a man of great energy, who worked with his partner Al Durkee to develop a thriving business.  The patriarchs of the Durkee and Antil families and their wives Florence Durkee and Mary Antil, provided their children with many happy memories and were very community minded.   They employed people from the local communities and used local farm produce in their baking products. An example of devotion to their community was during the notorious blizzard of 1935, when the partners used a plane to deliver bread to snow-bound Binghamton. For these reasons Jane and Jerry explored ways to honor their fathers.  Jerry knew that his father would have no interest in a statue, plaque or any other inanimate object.

While Jerry Antil considered ideas to honor their father, he and his 1956-57 basketball teammates were honored in a January 2008 ceremony at their Alma Mater, Fabius-Pompey High school, for that improbable championship season over fifty years ago.  With a renewed team spirit and desire to give back to their Alma Mater as well as  other schools in  Central New York and conceivably throughout the country, The CNY Bread Run was born.

“The CNY Bread Run is a gift from one basketball team of ’56-57….who grew up in the world and times of Mr. Durkee and Mr. Antil. We now volunteer our time, energy and resources in their honor and memory, so that we can help both our beloved Alma Mater and schools everywhere.”  Jerry Antil