DeLandite passes away at age 107
BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA McLAUGHLIN
Birthday girl — Above, Elizabeth Durant is pictured at a birthday celebration with family members.
Elizabeth Vanessa McArthur Durant, 107, died Jan. 5.
Calling hours will be 4-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at J.E. Cusack Mortuary in DeLand. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Greater Union First Baptist Church of DeLand, 240 S. Clara Ave. Burial will be at Union Cemetery.
Mrs. Durant was born in DeLand on Jan. 24, 1909, the fourth of nine children of John Sr. and Pauline McArthur. During that time, all of the roads were dirt; the streets were later covered with straw before they were paved.
Mrs. Durant was raised in the house just across the street from where she lived her adult life.
She attended Bronson High School.
She dated her boyfriend, Fred Durant, for nine years, and he became her husband. He preceded her in death in 1970.
Mrs. Durant was a domestic worker, and also worked for doctors in the DeLand area. She was a grandparent at Sugar ’n’ Spice Day Care and a member of the Evergreen Woman’s Club.
At the age of 106, Mrs. Durant was active in the Volusia/Flagler YMCA Silver Sneakers, where she made centerfold.
Union Baptist Church was organized in 1880 on the corner of Clara and Voorhis avenues. At the age of 13, Mrs. Durant was baptized there by the Rev. Frank James.
As a child, she walked to church on Sundays and choir practice on Wednesdays. The church later changed its name to Greater Union First Baptist Church.
Here, she was a lifelong member, and, in fact, was the oldest member. Mrs. Durant was a member of Church Choir No. 1 and the Inspirational Choir.
She leaves to cherish her memory and legacy her daughter, Jacquelyn Jenkins, and adopted daughter, Geneva Clarke; grandson Eric Jenkins (Nance) of DeLand; granddaughter Jacquelyn Jenkins Jr.; great-grandson Eric Jenkins Jr.; nieces Patsy Donaldson, Alberta Howell (Benjamin) of DeLand, Maxine Ross (Jake) of Daytona Beach, Betty Cooper (Dencile) of Sanford, Carnetta McArthur of DeLand, Marilyn McArthur of New Jersey, and Marsha McArthur of White Plains, New York; nephews Charlie Jones (Ike), and Douglas McArthur of Stamford, Connecticut; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and all of her communitywide grand- and great-grandchildren of the “Sherbet Lady.”
Mrs. Durant was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Charlie Jenkins.
- Courtesy J.E. Cusack Mortuary