Michael was proud of his Apache heritage and embraced his indigenous culture

Michael Samuel Duran Jr

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

The community of Morgan Hill is mourning the loss of a young man who held the promise of a bright future until his life was taken in a senseless drive-by shooting on Butterfield Boulevard the afternoon of May 29. Michael Samuel Duran Jr., 18, was a proud graduate of Central High School. He worked at the Indian Heath Center in San Jose as a job coach teaching teens and young adults how to prepare for the workforce, according to an obituary from Habing Family Funeral Home.

“In a time of confusion, chaos, and uncertainty, Michael was known to have had clarity, certainty, and hope for the future,” his family said in the obituary. “He walked the red road, leaving everyone  and everything he encountered better than before. He was laid back, but always lifted your spirits. He had a magical power that was palpable with his infectious smile that got bigger and brighter when he saw and greeted you. Everyone loved him from the moment they met him.

“Michael was proud of his Apache heritage and embraced his indigenous culture in a way that promised continuity and strength for generations to come. He left a rich legacy that has inspired all those who knew him.”

Donations for a memorial fund can be given by going to www.gofundme.com/f/MichaelDuranJuniorMemorialFund.

Morgan Hill police are investigating the shooting. If you have information, contact Det. Ryan Warren or Det. Kathleen Price at (669) 253-4894 or (669) 253-4985, or email [email protected] or [email protected]

For the third year in a row, the Santa Clara County Library District is teaming up with its partners at Silicon Valley YMCA and Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley to offer free, nutritious lunches to children ages 2 to 18 and their caregivers. Due to the shelter-in-place orders, grab-and-go meals will be available at Morgan Hill and Gilroy Libraries three days a week.

Get lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Morgan Hill Library, 660 W. Main Ave., and from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St.

At each location, pre-packaged grab-and-go meals (two per person) will be distributed from the library parking lots for safety reasons. Please adhere to all social distancing protocols.

Also this summer to keep the community engaged in learning, the county library system is offering a Summer Reading program called Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover! to encourage readers of all ages to dig below the surface, investigate the unknown and discover new things. The free program runs until July 31.

Dozens of free online events are planned ranging from family fun activities to enriching adult classes. All events and programs will be held virtually to keep everyone safe and healthy.

“The look of Summer Reading is different this season, but you can experience the same quality and wonderful programs that we have been offering to our patrons for years,” County Librarian Jennifer Weeks said.

Children’s librarians are hosting special events every weekday at 3 p.m. on Facebook Live. This includes book clubs on Mondays, special live performances and shows on Wednesdays, and STEAM events on Thursdays. The library offers a lot of fun activities during the hot summer months. Check it out!

The recently installed fence in the median on Monterey Road between Second and Third streets was approved before COVID-19 and requested by the Morgan Hill Police Department and is designed to prevent jaywalking in the area, according to Maureen Tobin, communications and engagement director for the city of Morgan Hill.

“There have been dozens of near misses in the area,” she said.

The fencing is portable and will be removed for major special events. It is the only section of Monterey Road that will be fenced.

With the global pandemic cratering the economy and forcing people into unemployment, work2future is there to help. Their career centers have shifted from in-person services to remote assistance.

Looking for a job? Want to build on your skills? Need resources for businesses? Take the first step toward a better future by registering for an orientation at www.work2future.org or call (408) 465-6995.

Robert Airoldi