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Margarett Nelms

March 22, 1920 — January 12, 2023

Margarett Tillmon Nelms was reunited with her Lord and Savior on the morning of January 12, 2023, when she passed from this life at Christian Care Center in Bolivar. She was born on March 22, 1920 in Middleton, Tennessee to Lora Simpson Tillmon and Perry Tillmon.

She was truly passionate about caring for her family, education and learning, and service to others as is evidenced by her career and hobbies. She started school in Jackson, TN at College Street School, transferred to Sheffield Alabama Elementary School, and graduated from Middleton High School in Middleton, TN. She graduated from Blue Mountain College in 1941. After graduating, she taught school at Bolivar Elementary and became Elementary Supervisor of Hardeman County Schools in 1944.

On September 24, 1944, she married Richard Nelms at the home of her parents. They were happily married for 58 years at the time of his death in 2002. At the birth of their children, she quit teaching to stay home and care for them. When their children went to college, she returned to work in the family business, Nelms Chevrolet. Her hobbies included reading, participating in church events, watching sports, and playing bridge and the piano. She organized a local bridge club in 1948 that continued to meet until 2018. She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Bolivar.

She is survived by her 2 children, Barbara Pippin (Bernard) and W. Richard (Buddy) Nelms II (Lisa); 4 grandchildren Jenny Pippin, Blair Pippin (Sarah), Caitlin Price (Phillip), and Trey Nelms (Amanda); and 2 great grandchildren Aiden and Addy Pippin. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her sister, Mary Louise Dodds.

The richness and beauty of her 102 years of life are captured best by the positivity she exuded in every interaction. The example she set was to be a light in the midst of darkness illuminating the way for others. While never seeking recognition for herself, she continually sought out ways to extend encouragement to others and perform random acts of kindness. She aimed to live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ (Ephesians 5:2; Romans 12:9-13). She was the epitome of a true Southern, Christian woman who handled any situation with incredible grace and poise. May those who knew her continue to honor the beautiful memories and incredible legacy she leaves behind by living each moment to its fullest. She said it best, “You’ve got to be there as much as you can and enjoy every minute of it. I know I have.”

A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, January 14 at 3:00 at Bolivar First Methodist Church with visitation preceding from 1:00-3:00.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Bolivar First Methodist Church or a charity of the donor’s choosing.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margarett Nelms, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 14, 2023

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Bolivar Memorial Cemetery

401 Orange St, Bolivar, TN 38008

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