Mary Elizabeth Durham, daughter of Lorin Doyle Hatch, Sr., and Mabel Jenkins Hatch, was born March 12, 1934, on a farm about five miles southeast of Knoxville in the Valley neighborhood. She attended Scott country school and Sunday school at the Valley Church. In 1951, her family moved in with her grandpa, Steve Jenkins. Mary attended Knoxville High School, graduating in 1953. She was baptized and joined the First United Methodist Church of Knoxville on April 13, 1953. On July 27, 1956, she was united in marriage to James Preston Durham and to this union a daughter, Julia Ann, and a son, David Doyle, were born. Mary was a homemaker and farmer’s wife during her lifetime. Her greatest joy was her family, especially her great grandchildren. She enjoyed reading, puzzles and playing Scrabble. Mary also loved animals and liked to watch the birds at her bird feeders and taking care of her many pets.
Mary passed away Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at the Knoxville Hospital at the age of 79 years. She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Lorin, who died in World War II, Robert and Corwin; and her husband, James Preston.
Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Julia Durham of Knoxville and David (Gloria) Durham of Pella; grandchildren, Christopher (Meagan) Durham and Elizabeth (Aaron) Vande Voort; great grandchildren, Cael, Evan and Drake; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
A funeral service was held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Williams Funeral Home in Knoxville, with Pastor Brent Hanna officiating. Burial followed in Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Radio Ministry or the American Lung Association.