Nevelyn Lucille Nivens, 85, of Jamestown passed from this life on Wednesday afternoon, September 16 and boarded that white chariot for her journey into the Great Beyond. She had chosen to enter Moniteau Care Center in March 2014 when her health began to fail.
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Born into well-known Cooper and Cole County families, she was the first of seven children of John Garnett Edwards and Virginia Byler. Nevelyn was born on the Edwards family farm near Prairie Home on March 10, 1930.
A child of the Depression years, Nevelyn remembered her mother lovingly sewing a yellow and white polka dot dress for her to wear when she went to first grade at Ellis School where her dad had gone to school during World War I. Economic times caused people to go where they could find work and Nevelyn's family was no different. They soon moved to Michigan so her father could work in an automobile factory. There she attended Widner School but by the age of seven, the family moved back to Missouri to live on the Harve Garnett farm near Marion. She graduated 8th grade at Marion School and then went two years to Prairie Home High School. It was in her junior year that she returned to Marion and attended Centertown High School. There Nevelyn was on the volleyball team when she met a referee named Norman Nivens, who had just come home from serving in World War II.
Married on September 25, 1947 in St. Louis, the couple's first home was a rental apartment in Centertown. They lived in St. Louis, Marion, Owensville and Boonville before moving to Jamestown in 1960.
Nevelyn was a full-time homemaker and mother for many years before she became employed by Chesebrough-Ponds and then People's Bank of Jamestown where she worked for 23 years. After her retirement, Nevelyn owned and operated Niven's Café (formerly Fern's Café) in Jamestown. She was devoted to her family and friends. She loved being with her children and grandchildren. Her easy-going demeanor and ability to make everyone feel at home created a very welcoming place to visit. She loved spending time with family at their lake property near Truman Dam, enjoyed early fall and spring mornings sitting on her front porch, and her weekly, sometimes daily, trips uptown to meet friends for lunch.
She was a past member of New Hope Baptist Church and Jamestown OES and presently a member of Grace United Methodist Church.
Along with her parents, Nevelyn was preceded in death by: a daughter Mary Kay Nivens; three brothers, R. G. Edwards, Wayne (Chub) Edwards and Robert (Bob) Edwards; and one great-granddaughter, Baby Girl Steck.
Nevelyn is survived by: her husband Norman of the home; four sons, Norman Kenneth "Ken" Nivens with his wife Linda, James David "Jim" Nivens with his wife June, Gary Stephen Nevins with his wife Kathy and Thomas Dean Nivens; three daughters, Judith Ann "Judy" Inglish with her husband Chuck, Carol Virginia Ford with her husband Ray, and Sara Lynn Loesing with her husband Mark; 13 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one sister Shirley Potter of Boonville; two brothers Gilbert (Bogie) Edwards of Kansas City and Ron Edwards of Boonville; several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Sunday, September 20, 2015 from noon – 3 p.m. at Windmill Ridge Funeral Service in California, Mo. with Funeral services following at 3 p.m. with Rev. Steve Jones officiating. Interment will be in the New Hope Cemetery north of Centertown, Mo. Memorials are suggested to the New Hope Cemetery, c/o Windmill Ridge Funeral Service, PO Box 443, California, MO 65018. On-line messages to the family may be contributed at www.windmillridgefuneralservice.com.
Windmill Ridge Funeral Service
600 Pinto Lane
California, MO 65018
Published in Boonville Daily News from Sept. 21 to Sept. 28, 2015