Sunday, April 4, 2010

Remembering Great Grandma Nimmo

Ethel Eveline (Nimmo) Duncan
March 1, 1916 to April 1, 2010

The following was "Grandma Nimmo's" obituary as read at her funeral...

We gather this morning to pay our respects to the passing of Ethel Eveline (Nimmo) Duncan, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a friend to many. Ethel was born into this world on March 1, 1916 at Bucyrus, Missouri to John and Bessie (Jarvis) Hollenbeck.

Ethel was the oldest of six children, herself, Ruby, Clyde, Edna, Leland and Stella. The family lived in the Houston, Missouri area until she was eight years old and then the family moved to northwest of Beggs, Ok. Her dad was a farmer and general laborer and they lived in this area where she attended school.

She later met Charlie Nimmo, whose family lived in the area and on Oct 12, 1939 she was joined in marriage to Charlie Nimmo at Beggs, Oklahoma. Ethel and Charlie had five children Virginia, Erma, Glenna, John, and Charlene.

The Nimmo family lived most of their lives in and around the Tulsa area. Ethel and Charlie later moved to southeast of Owasso and lived next to two of her sisters, Ruby Graham and Stella Rogers until she moved to the Baptist Retirement Village in Owasso.

After death of her husband, Charlie Nimmo, in 1994 she later married Curly Duncan who passed away in 1996.

Ethel was primarily a home maker, but at times she worked at different occupations to help with family expenses. She was not afraid of hard work and she kept her house very clean and liked to decorate. When she painted she not only painted the walls but herself as well. I remember going to see her one time after she had been painting and she had a stripe of paint on her face and one across her glasses. She had all kinds of yard ornaments and they got painted on a regular basis.

After her two husbands passed away she took care of her 2 acres until her children decided that due to her age it was too dangerous for her to be on a riding mower or weed eating.

She liked to get together with her brothers and sisters families and play card games, checkers or dominoes. Not only did she enjoy visiting with family but she liked to go to garage sales, flea markets and junk stores. Whenever anyone wanted to go fishing or to the lake she was ready to go. In fact my first experience with all of her family was a weekend campout on Duck Creek of Grand Lake. I was just dating Erma at the time and we had quite a time. We slept in tents, on the ground, in cars, on tables or any where we could find.

After the death of her husbands and about the age of 80, Ethel starting traveling with one or more of her daughters, visiting Alaska twice, Florida twice and at the age of 93, she and Charlene drove to the Grand Canyon. They drove all the way, four or five days, and when they got there she got out of the card, smoked a cigarette and she was ready to go home.

One thing some of you may not know was that Ethel’s mother was a cousin to Anna Jarvis whose mother Anna Reeves Jarvis started the Mothers Day Work Club prior to the civil war which continued until her death may years later. Her daughter Anna Jarvis after the death of her mother carried on her cause and on May 10, 1908 the first official Mothers Day service was held at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. In 1914 Anna petitioned President Woodrow Wilson as well as members of congress to set aside a special day to honor our Mothers. On May 8, 1914 President Wilson approved the second Sunday in May as Mothers Day, which is celebrated in more than 46 countries around the world,

Ethel was raised in the Baptist faith and in her later years she attended Rejoice Baptist church here in Owasso and greatly enjoyed going to her senior adult classes. Before she moved into the retirement village she was happy to host a party for her class at her home.

Due to her age and health she moved into an apartment at the Baptist Retirement Village in Owasso. Her family tried to get her to go to the cafeteria to eat at least one meal a day, but she said they didn’t cook to suit her. The first thing she did was claim the one tree in the center of the courtyard and planted a small garden. Later she thought the grass on the west side of the complex was too high, so she sit on the grass and cut the taller grass from one sidewalk to the next, about 75 feet with a pair of scissors.

She finally started taking meals on wheels, but she had her daughters start buying her peanut butter by the tall jars, 2 at a time and she would go thru them in two to three weeks. When they looked in her refrigerator they found it full of the meals on wheels dinners and when asked why. She said that she was saving them for when she lost electric. But she was getting plenty of protein and crackers.

When her health began to fail, she had to move into the Evergreen Nursing Home of the Baptist Retirement Village where she resided until her passing.

She enjoyed being with her grand children I am sure that each of you have fond memories of the experiences that you shared with her over the years.

On Thursday April 1, 2010 she passed from this earth to be with her heavenly father at the age of ninety four years and one month. At the time of her passing she was a resident of Evergreen Nursing Home.

She was preceded in Death by her parents John and Bessie Hollenbeck;
Two husbands Charlie Nimmo and Curly Duncan;
Two brothers; Clyde and Leland Hollenbeck;
Two sisters; Ruby Graham and Stella Rogers;
One daughter Virginia Turner;
One daughter in-law Peggy Nimmo;
Two son-in-laws
And three grand children

Left to survive her is one sister; Edna Reese of Mounds, Ok; Her son: John Nimmo of Skiatook, OK.
Three daughters Erma and husband Charles Rowden of Sperry, Ok; Glenna and husband Darrell Reese of Claremore, Ok and Charlene Lawson of Miami, Fl.

She is also survived by 16 grand children; 34 great grand children; 18 great-great grand children; many nieces and nephews and a host of friends.

God Saw

God saw you getting tired
And the cure was not to be,
So, He put His arms around you, 
And whispered "Come with me."
With tearful eyes we watched you suffer
And saw you fade away,
Although we couldn't bear to lose you,
We could not ask for you to stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands laid to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.


Diana said...

Hi! I was doing a search for the names Jarvis-Hollenbeck because I am the granddaughter to Clyde and Johnnie Hollenbeck.

I am sorry to hear that Ethel passed away. Sadly, I only met her once, but am grateful that I got the opportunity to be in her presence. I thought she was hilarious.

I am reaching out to you because my mother and I would love to get in contact with the Hollenbeck family! Do you have an email address where I can contact you with my information? I did not see anything besides this comment section. I look forward to hearing from you!

christy said...

Hi Diana,

If you'll contact my mother and father-in-law, Erma and Charles Rowden, they may be able to help you. Their e-mail is

Christy ;-)

Diana said...

Thank you for responding so quickly! I will try to contact them. I appreciate the information!

glenna said...

christy thank you for this. it was fun to watch these pictures. i was having a hard time picturing mom being so happy like she was with her grand children. you are such a thoughtfull person. love ya, aunt glenna