Edith Mae Nolen

1916 - 2013


Edith Mae Nolen

Sept. 18, 1916 — Aug. 28, 2013

Edith Mae Gresham Nolen was born at home in Cleburne County, Arkansas, on Sept. 18, 1916, to Robert Franklin and Anna Stacy Gresham. She was one of seven children born to her parents. She left this life for a new one on Aug. 28, 2013.

Edith’s childhood years were spent in Arkansas and she was a great help to her father and brothers, working hard, picking cotton on the farm, gardening and doing many other outside chores. She was known for her flower gardens in later years.

She met the love of her life, Elvin Nolen, when she was in first grade. They attended the same small school and their families were friends. She believed God had always planned for her to marry Elvin.

In 1936 Edith’s family moved to Atwater, Calif., and she graduated from Merced High School.

During the Great Depression, Elvin came to California with the Civilian Conservation Corp and looked up his love, Edith. They were married on March 11, 1938, in Atwater. Edith was a great helpmate for Elvin. She worked by his side on his many building projects, and in later years together they raised cows and horses on their 10 acre ranch. They lived in Modesto from 1948 until 2010, when they moved to College Place to be near family.

Edith and Elvin had two children, Duane Louis and Anna Fern.

Edith was a wonderful mother, contributing many positive things to her children’s lives. She was a Cub Scout and Brownie Scout leader, room mother and P.T.A. officer. She taught Sunday school and Bible school and skills such as cooking, sewing and finances. She was generous with love and nurturing.

She was famous for her delicious pies. She bought fruit and vegetables in large quantities when they were in season, and canned or froze them to have all year. She always had homemade pies in the freezer to put in the oven when guests came to her home. She was a welcoming hostess, who was happy to have people over for meals and as house guests for extended periods of time. Although she was primarily a homemaker, Edith worked outside the home periodically to help with the finances.

Edith served in many capacities over the years for her church. Even in her senior years she managed the nursery department and served on committees for dinners at North Modesto Church of God.

Edith had a quick wit and good sense of humor. She could always see the good in things. When other people were discouraged and difficulties came, she was the encourager. She believed in the power of prayer.

Edith was preceded in death by her husband of 74 years on April 26, 2012; three brothers, Charlie, Lynn and Ray Gresham; and three sisters, Thelma Gresham, Lucille Houser and Ola Swinger. She is survived by a son, Duane (Lisa) Nolen; and a daughter, Anna (Bob) Rea; grandchildren, Barry Nolen, Brad (Teresa) Nolen, Bryan Nolen, Lance Rea and Cara Rea (Bob) Grimm; and great-grandchildren, Trevor, Jacob and Baker Nolen, Autumn, Olivia and Emma Rea, and Thad, Moriah and Landon Grimm. She also leaves behind many dearly loved nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Cemetery, 2120 S. 2nd Ave., Walla Walla, with Pastor Bob Grimm officiating. Memorial contributions can be made in her honor to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.


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