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Nelle Guinn

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Nelle Guinn Obituary
Guinn, Nelle Curry

Nelle Curry Guinn passed away peacefully in Albuquerque on July 17, 2016 at the age of 88. She was predeceased by her husband, Dwight Guinn; parents, John and Nell Curry; siblings, Hubert, Muriel, and William; and niece, Bobby Jean (January) who was raised as a sister.

Nelle was born in Arkansas, where her family lived before following the path of many Depression-era families, migrating to California's Central Valley in the 1930s. She graduated from Liberty Union High School, Brentwood, CA in 1946, then returned to her home state, graduating four years later from the University of Arkansas, where she was active in academics, student government, and social activities, including the Rootin' Rubes. A supremely loyal alum, her enthusiasm for U of A and its sports teams never wavered. Her time at U of A also resulted in a happy marriage, as it was there that she met her future husband, Dwight.

Nelle and Dwight married in 1949, moving to Albuquerque ten years later to raise their two children. Their life together was a happy one, filled with family, friends, church, and travel, despite a harrowing incident early in their marriage: Nelle fell into the path of a tractor driven by Dwight and was accidentally run over. Although doctors at the time said she might never walk again, she was able to recover without serious impairment. Years later, this incident led to some family amusement, since responsibility for the accident seemed to shift, depending on which of the two was retelling the story.

She was a devout Christian and member of Monte Vista Christian Church. For many years she and Dwight attended the Kum Dubbles adult class and she was a member of the church board. Her deep faith in God was reflected in her loving service to her family, friends, church, and even casual acquaintances.

From the mid-1960s to 1995, Nelle was employed by Albuquerque Public Schools. She was hired as a secretary, but ultimately rose to manage the Instructional Materials Purchasing staff and became a mentor to many on her team. APS, and the people she interacted with, became a central part of her life â€" so much so that decades after her retirement, while struggling with progressive dementia, she often spent days "going to work" at APS, attending meetings and managing the occasional crisis.

Although her family, work, and church responsibilities left her little free time, Nelle made time for the things that were most important to her. Family and friends were always the top priority, and she and Dwight loved to socialize. They also enjoyed traveling -- preferably to visit relatives or friends -- and were able to travel not only in North America, but in Europe as well. Nelle's other passions included music (she was a longtime member of Sweet Adelines but enjoyed almost every kind of music); sewing, a skill at which she excelled; and gardening â€" first with roses, and later xeriscaping. She also loved animals, particularly her dogs over the years â€" Whiskers, Jackie, and Elmer chief among them.

Despite her numerous health problems, she never completely lost her sense of humor, teasing caregivers and family until the end of her life. She had special relationships with many of her helpers in recent years, and her family is most grateful for the kind, caring support of her many friends and caregivers at Brookdale Tramway Ridge Assisted Living, as well as Dr. Francesco Standoli, Melanie Theriot, and all the team at Hospice of New Mexico.

She is survived by her children, Rod (wife, Dana) and Paula (husband, Bill); her grandchildren, Jessica and Seth (wife, Kristi, and their children, Tyson, Landon, and Allison); numerous nieces and nephews; as well as her dear long-time friend and honorary sister, June Prigmore. All will miss her.

Memorial arrangements and a Celebration of Life will be set for a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in her name to the , New Mexico Chapter. Please visit our online guestbook for Nelle at


FRENCH - University

1111 University Blvd. NE

Published in Albuquerque Journal from July 23 to July 24, 2016
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