Mary Ann Turk Graybill 

Published 4:54 pm Friday, June 7, 2024

Mary Ann Turk Graybill, 95, of Lake Charles passed away at 10:37 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 in a local care facility.

Mary Ann Turk Graybill was born at home on a farm in Shelby, Iowa on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1929, attended by a country doctor and her grandmother. She celebrated her 95th birthday on Easter again in 2024. Mary Ann reached her heavenly home May 28, 2024.

Life was as colorful as one of her handmade quilts she so lovingly and expertly pieced together. Her first 18 years were spent on farms in Southwest Iowa- Avoca and Oakland areas. She could relate an old farm story even when her memory was fading. She learned many important life lessons growing up- faith in God, the value of hard work, and a deep appreciation for nature. She was reared in a loving family with 2 older sisters and a “kid” brother.

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After graduation from Oakland High School in 1947, she moved to the big city of Omaha to work at Union Pacific Railroad office, where she met her future husband, Wilmer “Wil” Graybill.  They married on June 18, 1950. When Wil was in college at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, they welcomed their first son, Clark. When Wil was hired as a Chemical Engineer at Columbia Southern (PPG) in Corpus Christi, they moved there for 10 years. Wil and Mary Ann welcomed Marta, Craig and Janet into the family in Corpus. She was very involved in the lives of her children- as encourager, bodyguard, Cub Scout or Girl Scout den mother, always rooting for us.

She was Wil’s best audience, belly laughing at his puns and jokes, no matter how many times she had heard them. She missed him dearly after his passing in 2013, after 63 years of marriage.

Her favorite color was pink. She had a green thumb that was unbelievable. Mary Ann was an excellent cook and delighted in serving everyone gathered around the table. She sewed and quilted beautifully, embroidered with precision, enjoyed knitting and crocheting, always having some handwork in her lap when she sat down- as long as her eyesight permitted her to see.

Her favorite home was wherever she was currently living. She had a way to make every house a warm and loving home, whether it was a little married student hut at Iowa State, a rental home in Corpus Christi, TX, their first purchased home in Corpus, or Pittsburgh, Rome, Italy, Augusta, Georgia or Lake Charles. She was a homemaker extraordinaire.

Her favorite grandchild was whichever one was in front of her…”for your age and size”, which is what her grandmother used to tell her. If you told her you loved her, her response was always, “I love you more!”

She taught her children and grandchildren to love the Lord and to be kind to others.  

She was a faithful member of Community of Christ, teaching Sunday School classes for years, joining in any activity. She loved her church family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Agnes Turk; in-laws, Amos and Viola Graybill; husband, Wil Graybill; daughter, Janet Tenos; great grandson, Jack David Lopez; siblings, Audrey (Bill) Zimmerman, Lavonne (Edward) Rafuse, Melvin Turk, brother and sister-in law, Bruce and Doris Graybill; and nephews, Curt Hansen, Mitch Turk, and Mike Turk. 

She is survived by her children, Clark (Debbie) Graybill, Marta (David) Benglis, and Craig (Judy) Graybill; son-in-law, Gary Tenos; sisters-in-law, Betty Graybill and Evy Turk; and many cherished nieces and nephews.  She is also survived by her grandchildren, who called her “Mawmaw,” Jeff (Leah) Graybill, Eric (Heidi) Graybill, Steven (Paige) Graybill, David Benglis, Jr., Emily Benglis, Audrey (Josh) Hardesty, Bob (Morgan) Graybill, Marta Elaine Graybill, Charlotte (Ben) Lopez, and Deidre Tenos. Her great-grandchildren who called her “GG” are Wyatt and Nolan Graybill, Kade, Tyler, and Abigail Graybill, Paighten and Hayden Graybill, Molly, Audrey Jane, and Clark Frazier, Leo and Wells Hardesty, Peri Ann Graybill, and Robyn, Jack, and Jenna Lopez.

Special gratitude to the staff at Sage Oak Assisted Living who lovingly cared for Mary Ann during her stay the last one and a half years.  She was treated with dignity and love.

The family is also thankful for Brighton Bridge Hospice the past 6 months for their compassionate and professional care.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Macular Degeneration research:, American Macular Degeneration Foundation, 1-888-622-8527, or to the charity of your choice.

A private graveside will be held at Consolata Cemetery under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home with Elder Rebecca Crawford officiating. 

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