Juanita Margaret Nalley, 95, slipped into the arms of her Lord August 13, 2022. She was a devoted wife to Henry Nalley for 56 years and a loving mother of six children. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, she graduated from Greenville High School and attended a local Business School before meeting Henry, a handsome soldier and farm boy from nearby Easley. During their courtship, they traveled about on his motorcycle and enjoyed going to movies and the mountains. They were married on August 1, 1946, at the Base Chapel on Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville. Henry reenlisted in the Army Air Force and was shipped to Tennessee and then to Ashiya, Japan in 1950. Alone with two young boys, Juanita, who had never been far from Greenville, boldly boarded a ship in New York traveling through the Panama Canal and on to San Francisco and Japan. Along with several other Air Force wives, Juanita settled into base housing and learned about life in that foreign land, surviving some daring adventures in getting medical attention for her two boys that had contracted measles along the way. A year later, expecting her third child and enduring seasickness all the way across the Pacific, she and Henry returned to their new assignment at Keesler AFB, MS. There they lived near the base for a short while before buying a house "shell” and 18 acres of isolated land out in the pine trees of the Woolmarket community. Having a fourth son two years later, Juanita supported Henry as they fulfilled their dream of having their own land, persevering through primitive conditions as Henry slowly improved the house and bought appliances from Sears on the installment plan. After four years there, they moved to Shaw AFB in Sumter, SC where their fifth son was born. After that assignment, Juanita spent a year alone with her five boys on Henry's parents farm in Easley while he was deployed to a remote radar site in Thule, Greenland. Upon his return, they were reassigned for three years to Bunker Hill AFB in Peru, Indiana, where the five boys were joined by their sweet baby sister. Faced with the prospect of either taking an assignment in Germany or another in Greenland, they made the sacrificial decision to take the family back to their house in Woolmarket because the oldest two boys were approaching graduation. That was an especially hard year for Juanita living alone with six kids and two old cars while keeping the family together without Henry. When Henry returned, they served out their last three years at Keesler before retiring. Interstate 10 was built on the back of their Woolmarket property and allowed them the money to build a new house about three miles away, the first new house they had ever owned. There they lived comfortably enjoying frequent visits from the married children and grandkids while Henry built three ponds and other improvements to the property. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary on August 1, 1996 in the company of their six children and their spouses, along with 13 grandchildren and their spouses. Their grandchildren were her special delight as she and Henry taught them "farm life," learning to fish and swim in the ponds, drive a car on the property, shop at the commissary, can vegetables, and cook. Henry passed away on May 1, 2003. After Henry's death, Juanita instituted a getaway month each year for several years at a condo in Orange Beach where she delighted in having her kids and grandkids visit and enjoy swimming and cruising the "lazy river." Juanita lived at her "new" house another 10 years before moving to assisted living at Seashore Highlands in Gulfport, then on to Greenbriar Nursing Center in D’Iberville.
As a member of Coalville United Methodist Church in Woolmarket for 69 years, Juanita loved her Lord and taught His ways to her children and grandchildren. She had a strength and resiliency that she passed on to them and lives on in them as a tribute to her. She was not easily angered, but always displayed an attitude of unconditional love, patience, kindness, and virtue. Her favorite verses, she memorized the 23rd Psalm and used it frequently during the birth of her six children and while living alone without Henry.
Juanita is preceded in death by her parents, Ralph Hambright and Myrtle Giradeau; sister, Doris Waldron; brother, Ralph Hambright Jr.; husband, Henry Bolt Nalley, Sr.; and daughter-in-law, Barbara Landry Nalley.
She is survived by her six children, son, Henry Nalley Jr. and wife, Barbara of Gulfport, MS; son, Stan Nalley and wife, Wanda of Knoxville, TN; son, Art Nalley and wife, Genny of McCalla, AL; son, Tim Nalley and wife, Barbara (deceased) of Starkville, MS; son, Ralph “Ren” Nalley and wife, Stephanie of Gulfport, MS; daughter, Edith “Edie” Rushing and husband, Greg of Biloxi, MS; 13 Grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and daughter in law, Donna Rushing, who passed away on August 15, 2022
A visitation and a Celebration of Life will be held at Coalville United Methodist Church on Thursday, August 18, 2022 with the Celebration of Life starting at 11 AM. Friends are invited to visit one hour prior. Interment following the service will be at the Coalville Cemetery where she will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband. The family wishes to thank all of those who have cared for our mom over the years at Seashore Highlands Assisted Living, Greenbriar Nursing Center, SAAD Hospice, and Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home; with special thanks to her pastor Len McRaney. Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Juanita Margaret Nalley.