Mary Ann Turk Graybill

March 31, 1929 ~ May 28, 2024

Mary Ann Turk Graybill, 95, of Lake Charles passed away at 10:37 AM 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.

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 celebration of life will be held at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 in the Johnson Funeral Home chapel. Burial was held privately in Consolata Cemetery. A gathering of family and friends will begin at 9:30 AM until the start of the service.


Visitation: Wednesday, June 19, 2024
9:30 am - 10:30 am

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605

Funeral Service: Wednesday, June 19, 2024
10:30 am

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605

View current weather.

Tribute Video

Memories Timeline


  1. Graybill Family,
    I read your mother’s obituary to see if she was connected to any of the Graybills I taught years ago. You were each such special students, having all of the best qualities one can have as a student. The obituary was delightful and wonderful as your mother. She was really special as the obit outlined each wonderful quality she had. You made it clear how truly loved she made each person feel. I am glad I decided to investigate because I now know why you were each so outstanding. Janell Perrin (English I teacher at LaGrange High School)

  2. What a wonderful life God blessed your Mother with, & she in return blessed all her family with. May you all be comforted with the wonderful memories made through the years. With love & sincere sympathy, Doris & Adolph Marcantel

  3. Beautiful obituary and tribute to your mom. She must have been an amazing woman, mother, and grandmother; you were very blessed to have her in your lives for so long. My prayers and deepest sympathy to each of you. I know you have beautiful memories of her and your life together that will last you a lifetime. Sincerely, Marcia

  4. Candle 4To the entire Graybill family, our deepest sympathy and love to each of you. I thought so highly of your Mom and grandmother, truly from the greatest generation. I spent many times visiting with her over the years. She always made it a better day. So kind and loving, may she rest in peace with her beloved Wil. We know she is with God. Love, Mary Ellen and Peter

  5. Candle 8Graybill Family,
    My deepest sympathy for the loss of your dear mother. I remember her as being a very kind and loving woman. A beauty inside and out. I know you will all miss her very much. I pray that happy memories will help each of you through this very sad time.
    Love to all, Cherilyn Sweeney

  6. Candle 1Marta, I wanted to pay my respects to a precious lady.
    She was a JOY I looked forward to seeing every Thursday. She had such a kind and Godly spirit.
    I miss her already.
    I pray that the peace of God, that she trusted in, keep you and your family!
    God Bless you!

  7. Candle 6Craig,
    My condolences for the loss of your mother. What a full and fruitful life she lived. May you find peace reflecting in the memory of her love of her family.

  8. To the best Mother-in-Law ever, the most amazing chef and entirely dedicated Christian woman, I Love You and will miss you always!

  9. Candle 1I will remember all of you in my prayers. I last saw your mother and much of your family in 1985 (I think) when our family came to Pittsburgh on vacation. I’m pretty sure I saw your folks at Grandma Turk’s funeral sometime in the 1990s.

  10. What a wonderful lady, a second Mom really, during those years. Memories of her & your family just flood my brain with happiness. Truly one of God’s special people. Love to all the Graybill family. Hope to see you one day soon. Dan & Peggy Beall ❤️❤️❤️

  11. Candle 4There aren’t many people that we are lucky enough to call cherished. Mary Ann was absolutely cherished by our entire family. She made us all better.

  12. Candle 1Craig, all my prayers are with you and the entire family. May His presence give you comfort and JOY celebrating Sister Mary Ann.

  13. Candle 1Prayers for peace for family and love to Mrs Mary Ann’s family. Fond memories of Audrey’s maw maw over the years. She was one of the sweetest ladies I’ve met. Love yall. 🙏🏻🩷

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

  1. Candle 1
  2. Candle 2
  3. Candle 3
  4. Candle 4
  5. Candle 5
  6. Candle 6
  7. Candle 7
  8. Candle 8