Nellie was born in Cold Water, Mississippi but grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She was the oldest child so she would watch her younger brothers and all of her cousins while her mom worked at an Envelope factory. While she was growing up, Nellie loved to sing her church’s gospel choir. She babysat very often and enjoyed playing with the neighborhood kids. It was a ritual for her extended family to gather at her grandmother’s house and watch wrestling on TV on the weekends.
In Nellie’s early childhood, she attended Henry C. Kumpf Elementary and J.J. Persian Elementary. She then attended Southeast Middle School and graduated from Southwest High School. While enjoying her academic years, Nellie also played the flute in her school and ROTC band. After graduating high school, Nellie went on to work her first real paying job at Winstead’s SteakBurgers. After working there for a few years, she had saved enough to pay for a gold tooth. Her work in the foodservice industry included Burger King, Pizza Hut, Checkers, Truman Medical Center, and then to a local bakery making cakes.
Nellie met Derrell when they worked together at Winstead’s. She was a waitress and he was the grill master. She fondly remembers him telling her the first time she met him that they were going to get married one day. Derrell and Nellie lived together and dated for about 10 years before finally getting married in Oklahoma City.
Nellie lived in many places including Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska and Minnesota to name a few. Being a good and dedicated Christian, and living her faith are very important to Nellie. Her favorite bible verse is, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!” Honesty is very important. She always tells it like it is, “I say what I mean, and if I don’t mean it, I won’t say it.”
Nellie comes from a long line of family cooks; however, her favorite thing to make is a turkey spinach wrap. When there is downtime, she enjoys watching the “good old shows,” like The Jeffersons, Good Times, What’s Happening, Flintstones, and Leave it to Beaver. Nellie enjoys amateur photography, researching family history, looking through photo albums, sewing clothing that she designs, and now Christian phone ministry – but her interests don’t stop there. Nellie simply loves to make people’s day better. If she were to tell you about her hidden talents, she would tell you she loves to dance, drive fast cars, and race! She may have been caught a time or two!
Nellie has lived at Shepherd of Grace since September 2019. She chose Shepherd of Grace because her cousin lives close by in Big Lake, MN. Since she moved in, Nellie has enjoyed many activities like BINGO, reading to people in the Memory Cottages, reading Bible verses, singing Gospel songs, and giving big hugs. Since Covid-19 started, she enjoys visiting outside of windows, however she misses giving those hugs!
We are proud that Nellie calls Shepherd of Grace home.