Mae Durbin, lovingly known as “Dude” to her family, was born in Lampasas, Texas, on July 17, 1915, to Andrew Jackson Stewart and Pearl Maffett Stewart. She had an older sister, Ruby Willa, an older brother, Morgan, and a younger brother, Jack. They lived on a dairy farm and had a confectionery store, better known as an ice cream parlor, in Lampasas. When she was a teenager, both of her parents died from pneumonia and she and her little brother Jack went to live with her sister Ruby and her family. When she was in high school, they moved to Austin, Texas, where she graduated from Austin High School. Mae then went to work for the State of Texas Government. She later married Lawrence Durbin and became a Navy wife. Lawrence was a SeaBee with the U.S. Navy and was gone a lot during the war in the Pacific. After his discharge from the Navy, he also went to work with the State. Even after many years of marriage, they had no children. In 1999, after the death of her husband, Mae moved to Blanco to be near her family. Two years ago, when her health started failing, her great-great-niece, Lisa Redden, and her family moved in with Mae to take care of her, keep her house, and be sure she had good food to eat and someone always there to watch over her. Lisa and her daughter Alyssa became the daughters she never had as they cared for her in accordance with her wishes to remain at home until her passing. The bond became strong and they became a family.
It was in her home that we lost her and she joined her departed family members at the wonderful age of 95. Her infectious smile and her words of “Sit down and stay awhile” will be missed. Those who knew her always remembered her and liked her dry sense of humor. In her younger days, Mae enjoyed traveling and hunting with her husband. She was a Christian woman who never smoked, but did enjoy a good margarita. Here’s to you, Aunt Dude, may your smile always shine.
Mae was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence Durbin, her parents, Andrew Jackson and Pearl Stewart, her sister, Ruby Stewart Pierce and her husband Bill Pierce, her brothers, Morgan and Jack Stewart, her niece, Sybil Pierce Lee and her husband Meredith Lee, and her nephews James and Alvin Pierce.
She is survived by her great-niece, Joyce Lee Knoll and husband Clifton, her great-nephew, Bobby Lee and wife Becky, her great-great-nieces Lisa Redden and Lisa’s daughter Alyssa Redden, Lou Ann Ashmore and her husband David, great-great-nephews, Richard Knoll and wife Tami, Ron Bell and his wife Esthela, and Troy Knoll and his wife Jodi, plus many, many great-great-great-nieces and -nephews.
We all now have an empty spot in our hearts where she has always dwelled, but we know she is in God’s Garden where her heart shines among the stars.