Durene Harlin (Bohannon) Crouch Obituary - freetxp

Durene Harlin (Bohannon) Crouch Obituary

Durene Harlin (Bohannon) Crouch

Durene Harlin Crouch, who resided in Austin, TX (where she was known as Durene Bohannon) for several decades, passed away on February 22, 2022. She was 94 years old.

Born in Itasca, TX, in 1927, to Fred and Freida Harlin. She was born in the house her grandfather built with his then-teenage son, Fred. Her great-grandfather, a rail splitter for the MKT railroad, liked the area around Itasca and eventually settled his family there from Harlan County, KY.

Durene graduated Itasca High School as salutatorian. After attending Baylor University, she then completed her medical technology training, before taking her first job in Childress, TX. There, she met and married Burba ‘Bo’ Bohannon. Their only son, Mark Bohannon, resides in Washington, DC.

After short stints in Wichita Falls, Las Cruces, NM and southern California, they moved to Austin, where she began a 33-year career at the Student Health Center which was then on the campus at the University of Texas. Durene was widowed in 1966.

She saw Austin grow from a sleepy college-town capital of under 150,000 in the early 1950’s to a city more than quadruple that size when she returned full time to Hill County in the 1990’s. During her time in Austin living in her beloved Tarrytown, in addition to raising her son, Durene was an active member of Tarrytown Baptist Church where she sang in the choir and taught Sunday School. She later attended downtown First Baptist Church.

For several years, she raised African violets and frequently placed in local competitions. During her many years in Austin, she gathered and nurtured a strong group of friends – through her church, and her work – that lasted for decades, often through regular ‘girl friend’ lunches and celebrations. She was the last surviving member of this tightly knitted group.

Durene took great joy in Sunday afternoon drives through the Texas Hill Country, was an enthusiastic regular visitor to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and attended for many years Laguna Gloria’s annual Fiesta (when it was actually at Laguna Gloria). She had a small collection of paintings that captured her favorite Texas bluebonnets. ‘

A new chapter in her life opened when she married WT Crouch, of Itasca. For over a decade, they shared a love of travel, driving across the US multiple times (often to their signature road song, Willie Nelson’s ‘On the Road Again’). They had wonderful trips to Canada and Europe.

They hosted an annual and quite memorable July 4th celebration for most of their time together. Durene was an avid gardener and renowned for her canned watermelon rind, garlic dill and bread-and-butter pickles. Her red pepper relish, as well as her special way of cooking fried okra, were well known throughout the land. She also became an outstanding needle point artist, and made gorgeous Christmas stockings for her family. Her reputation in the family was that she was quite the astute, and a fairly competitive, Chicken Foot domino player. WT passed in 1995.

Following a date with John MacDonald set up by WT’s two daughters, and a brief romance, Durene and John married in a ceremony officiated by step-daughter Molly Crouch and with her granddaughters having their one chance in life to serve as adorable flower girls . She spent the final decades of her life in Whitney, TX, sharing his love of organic gardening until his death.

Durene served as a Regent of Hill College (formerly known as Hill Junior College) from May 1995 to May 2008.

Durene can trace her ancestry to Harlans who as Quakers came to the new world seeking religious freedom, arriving at William Penn’s Colony at New Castle, Delaware in 1687. She attended the 300th anniversary of their landing in America in 1987, and was active in the Harlan Family in America, a non-profit association formed that year to perpetuate and promote the Harlan family heritage and genealogy. For the next two decades, she regularly attended its reunions.

In addition to her son, Mark Bohannon, she is survived by her granddaughters, whom she deeply adored, Nicole Bohannon (currently in London, England) and Alexia Bohannon (Austin). She is also survived by their mother, devoted former daughter-in-law, and dear friend, Nancy Donaldson (Washington, DC). A brother, Troyce Harlin, predeceased her; she is survived by his wife, Nella Harlin and their two sons and her nephews, Troy and John. She is survived by members of WT’s large clan, who adopted her as their own: step-daughter Susan (BIll) Marquiss, Orange, CA; and step-sons Michael Crouch, Winnsboro, TX, Joseph (Monica) Crouch, Sulfur Springs, TX, and Tommy (Sally) Crouch, Itasca, TX; and 13 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were WT, step-daughter Molly Crouch Anderson and step-son Bill Crouch. She is also survived by the loving and doting step-children of John MacDonald, Lecya Peacock and Rexann Bissing, both of Whitney, and her cherished friend and extended family member, Lara Nell Ward, also of Whitney.

A graveside service was attended by family and friends at Itasca Cemetery. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to your favorite charity or to Hill College in Hillsboro. TX More information available here:

https://www.hillcollege.edu/About/Development/Dev-Index.html

Posted online on March 06, 2022

Published in Austin American Statesman

Leave a Comment