Mary Durene McCraken of Cisco

Mary Durene McCracken died peacefully at her home after a lengthy illness borne with The faith, dignity, and enduring charm that characterized her life.

She was born to W. T. Cogburn and Annie Laurie Kinney Cogburn in Cisco, Texas, on 24 July 1918. She was the youngest of six children and was preceded in death by brothers Albert, Charles, and Clarence, and sister Lillian. Durene attended Cisco schools including Randolph College now Cisco College.

Durene and Standlee McCracken were married 22 July 1938 at the First Presbyterian Church in Cisco. They were blessed with 60 years and 4 months of marriage until his death 6 December 1998. They were also blessed with one son, Standlee C. McCracken.

She worked for Drs. Hubert Seale and Emmit Graham, and Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. She received the last “Number, please” operator assisted call before switching to dial calling in the Cisco office. She worked in both Cisco and Abilene as Assistant Chief Operator Services. She enjoyed teaching the basic operator skills and latest technology to new telephone operators. She retired after 25 years 9 months service in 1978 to care for her husband.

She was a long-time member of the former Disciples of Christ First Christian Church in Cisco, and served the church in numerous capacities. She was a member of the 20th Century Club in Cisco and the Telephone Pioneers in Abilene. Durene was an avid reader and had a great fund of knowledge in history, religion, and the arts. She enjoyed traveling the world with her husband and son.

She has been lovingly cared for during this illness by Kathleen Watson, Rita Canistraci, Gina Tucker, Marti Alexander, Sharla Morgan, and the Lighthouse Hospice team headed by Nancy Harris, R.N., Mary Ann Rice, R.N., Mo Namuth, R.N., Natisha Phillips, CNA, Sissy Ward, MSW, and the Rev. Joe Bernier Hospice Chaplain.

Durene is survived by her son, Stan McCracken, of Cisco, her sister Floss (Mrs. J. Pierre) LeCoq of Columbia, South Carolina, nieces and nephews and their families, and an extended family of close friends.

Services entrusted to Kimbrough Funeral Home. Visitation will be 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 19, 2010. Funeral, the Rev. Jack Clack officiating, will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at the Kimbrough Funeral Home Chapel. Internment, the Rev. Joe Bernier, Lighthouse Hospice Chaplain officiating, will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Matt Johnson, Butch Willingham, Ron Holiday, Olin Odom, Marlin Marcum, Jimmy Latson, Steve Thomas, and Jimmy Yowell. Honorary pallbearers are Bill Midkiff, Clyde Fisher, Eris Ritchie, Tilden Spencer, Howard Henry, and Mickey Norvell.

Memorials are suggested to the Cisco Cemetery Association, Cisco Public Library, or Lighthouse Hospice Eastland, Texas..