Edna Claborn, 102

Published 9:04pm Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Edna Claborn, 102
Born: Dec. 21, 1909
Died: Sept. 21, 2012


Edna “Betty” Gurr Bates Claborn, 102, passed peacefully Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, surrounded by many of her children and grandchildren.

Betty was born Dec. 21, 1909, in Minneapolis, to Edna (Moffat) and William Gurr.  Growing up Betty lived in Park Ridge, Ill.; Lawton, N.D.; Covert, Mich.; Leonia, N.J.; Los Angeles; and Champaign Urbana, Ill. After graduating from Covert High School in 1928, she attended Barnard College, UCLA, and graduated from the University of Illinois. She later earned her master’s degree in education from Western Michigan University.

Betty married Willis Castor Bates in Covert on Aug. 20, 1934. She and Willis had three children, Willis “Bing” (Lois) Bates, Linda (Henry) Hinton and Carol (Bill) Marlett.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Willis, in 1958.

Betty married her second husband, Paul Claborn, on June 15, 1965. Paul gave Betty two beloved stepchildren, Dean (Sandra) Claborn and Jean Claborn. After retirement, they traveled far and wide. They visited all of the national parks, the 50 United States, Sweden and France, where she was finally able to use the language she learned at Barnard. Paul preceded her in death in 1997.

In addition to her two husbands, she was preceded in death by her son, Willis “Bing” Bates; daughter, Linda, and son in-law, Henry Hinton; her parents, brothers and sisters-in-law, Bill (Lill) Gurr and Nick (Muriel) Gurr; and one grandson, Brian Bates.

Betty is survived by her children, Carol (Bill) Marlett, Dean (Sandra) Claborn, Jean Claborn and Lois Bates. Her legacy includes 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter, numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 119 E. Delaware, Decatur.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Willis C. Bates Chapter of the National Honor Society, The Linden Hills Memorial Fund or The American Red Cross.

Friends may share a memory online at www.avinkcre mation.com.

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Editor's Picks