Lawrence, Kansas resident since 1959.
Mable Layne Turner was born on May 28, 1924 at home in Reader, Arkansas to Walter E. Turner, a teamster for the local sawmill, and Emily Tyrilla Prince Turner, a seamstress. Mable was born 30 minutes after her twin sister, Wanda.
Wanda and Mable were the first set of twins ever born in Reader, AR. Mable had a happy childhood with Wanda, two older sisters, three stepbrothers, and two stepsisters. Their father passed away in 1931, leaving the family to be raised by Mable’s mother and her Aunt Dodo.
Mable played guard on the girls’ basketball team in high school, winning county many times. Mable was homecoming queen and valedictorian of her class of 1942. During World War II, Mable went to work in Little Rock, AR at the Jacksonville Ammunition plant but due to allergies from working with gun powder moved to Tulsa, OK, to work at the Douglas Aircraft plant. In 1944, Mable went to work for Union Pacific Railroad as a telegrapher. After completing a course in Denver, CO, Mable was assigned to work in Rawlins, WY. She worked her way across Wyoming and Utah at stations including Bitter Creek, Altamont, Evanston, Wasatch, Echo, Devil’s Slide and Morgan, UT. While working in Wasatch she met Vern (Bud) Durrant, her future husband, a shy track foreman for the Union Pacific Railroad. They eloped and married on May 31, 1947, in Elko, NV. Bud gave her a small ceramic donkey and said it was to remind her of what an ass he can be!
Bud and Mable made their first home in Echo, UT while Bud traveled with the UPRR rail gangs. They moved to the section foreman house in Wasatch, UT, where Sherrie K., the first of four children, was born in 1948. Later that year a son, Jerry, blessed the family. In 1953 the family briefly lived in Lawrence, KS. Next, they moved to Rawlins, WY where Ricky was born in 1954. In 1958, the family moved to Portland, OR. Later that year, Bud was promoted and transferred back to Lawrence, KS. In 1959, the family was blessed with another addition to the family, Kevin Joe.
In 1960 Mable moved into her first new house, located on Lawrence Avenue. Mable converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on February 20, 1960. At that time, the ward meetings were held in the basement Strong Hall at KU. Mable became a primary teacher and helped with the music, later becoming active in Relief Society and held other callings in the church. She joined the Sing Mothers group with the church and traveled with them to sing in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle in Utah. Upon joining the church, Mable started a lifelong friendship with Janice and Merle McClure. At home, Mable always made Christmas a special time, baked cookies for Valentine’s Day, made Easter baskets, and, of course, birthdays were always extra special. The family made annual trips to Utah and Arkansas to visit relatives.
Mable went to work at Hallmark in 1964, she worked the card line and enjoyed being busy. Mable went to work at the Desoto Hercules Army Ammunition plant in 1965 as the United States involvement in the Vietnam War was increasing. She was hired to work at a slitter house and became the supervisor in charge, staying there until she was laid off in 1971. In 1972, with her children moving out, Mable decided to enroll in the Kaw Valley Vo Tech school and become an LNP. She graduated at the top of her class and went to work at Kansas University Watkins Hospital in1974. Mable retired from Watkins in 1991 and continued to work for a few years doing home care for the elderly.
After leaving her job at the hospital, Mable began taking tole painting classes and restoring antiques for the house. Mable also made beautiful quilts, table runners, and other craft items. Bud retired in 1975 due to health issues, leaving him and Mable time to travel. They traveled to visit Jerry and his family on the east coast and Holland, seeing a lot of Europe while there. They also made trips to Wyoming and Utah to see Rick with his family and other relatives.
When Bud passed on February 28, 1986, Mable’s heart was broken. Having been with Bud for 39 years she went through the saddest day of her life.
Mable participated in different forms of exercise throughout her life to stay fit and strong. She had weekly outings with Janice. Mable continued to travel after Bud’s death, including travel to Norway and South Korea to visit Jerry and his family, to Jerry’s and Rick’s retirement parties and to see relatives and friends whenever possible. Mable enjoyed many celebrations and time at Sherrie’s and Kevin’s in Lawrence over the years and loved each occasion. Mable was a strong, adventurous, woman who loved life.
Mable lived in her home for 60 years until 2020, and at the age 95 moved into a retirement apartment.
Mable passed from this earthly body on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, to rejoin Bud, her sisters, and parents in Heaven. Mable is survived by her four children, Sherrie Binggeli (Charlie) of Lawrence, KS; Jerry (Cheryl) of Wildomar, CA; Ricky Durrant (Carolyn) of St. George, UT; Kevin (Lori) of Eudora, KS; eight grandchildren, Stacey Unrein, Jennifer Maier, Jeremy Durrant, Alison Greiner, Trevor Durrant, Emily Durrant, Leia Durrant, Jarrett Durrant; and eleven great grandchildren: Matthew and Bronte Unrein, Addison, Avery and Dylan Maier, Mena and Jenna Durrant, Abigail and Torrey Greiner, and Silas and Arabella Durrant.
The family will greet friends from 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday October 15, 2021 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS. A celebration of life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 3615 W. 10th Street, Lawrence, KS with graveside service at Oak Hill Cemetery to follow.
To join the zoom celebration of life for Mable please click below:
Meeting ID: 980 0948 6399
Donations in Mable’s name may be made to Visiting Nurses Hospice, 200 Maine, Suite C, Lawrence, Kansas 66044 or can be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.