Nita Corelle Wilson Holly, 95, left suffering behind April 6, 2021 to walk with Jesus, sing in the heavenly choir, and reunite with loved ones in heaven.
Nita was born November 5, 1925, at Percilla, Texas in the Denson Springs area of Anderson County, Texas. She was the fifth of seven children born to Ellis and Charlotte (Lottie) Wilson. Nita’s earliest memories were of a pair of two-toned brown and tan saddle oxford shoes she received around the time she had Rheumatic Fever, and singing duets with Charles Elrod–when both were age four–during Church Singings and over Palestine radio. The children learned to harmonize at such a young age by singing along with family members who sang frequent quartets during the same events. Music would stay a driving force throughout the rest of Nita’s life.
When the Great Depression took away her father’s job, Nita and her family started a nomadic way of life that lasted for several years because Ellis Wilson was determined his family would not end up in the soup lines. He drove a bakery truck and tried sharecropping before loading the seven family members into the Durant and heading out for the first cotton picking and pecan gathering trip around Lubbock and Rising Star, Texas.
They settled in Lubbock for only a short time, making and selling fried pies, before returning to the nomadic life—back to Palestine to care for Ellis’ aging parents in the final years of their lives; then opening a bakery in Tatum, N.M. near Lottie’s parents; apple picking near Roswell; working a sawmill in Capitan; and finally trying to settle in Lovington, N.M. Around 1941 Ellis signed up with the civil service and the family headed to Key West, Fla. for six months before moving to the shipyards at Orange, Texas.
While the family was in Orange Nita met William Holly. When Nita’s family again moved to Lubbock, within a week of the move Nita received a letter from William asking her to marry him. The couple married Aug. 9, 1943 at the home of Earl and Lola Parrack–Earl was the brother of William’s mother and Lola the sister of Nita’s mother.
Following William’s induction into the army, Nita lived with William’s mother and sister in Lubbock until March 1945 when she took over the care for her brother Bert’s infant son, Gene, after Bert lost his wife in childbirth. Their mother Lottie stepped in to care for Gene alongside her own infant son Danny, born the March before, but caring for both babies started to take a toll on Lottie’s health. From that time on Nita considered Gene one of her children.
When Bert remarried and Gene moved to his new home, Nita moved to Lovington, N.M. with her parents. where she helped draw the plans and started building her parent’s “big house.” She was in Lovington when William was discharged from the service.
The couple found a blacksmith shop for sale in Artesia, N.M., so they sold the houses they owned in Orange and Lubbock, cashed in their war bonds, and set up Artesia Iron Works. Nita kept the books for the business until William retired.
Soon after they arrived in Artesia, they joined the First Baptist Church and started their family. It’s hard to talk about one without talking about the other. Nita was very involved in the church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, directing the pre-school choir, and leading WMU circles. She saw church attendance as vital as (if not more so) school attendance, and she didn’t let her children shirk either. She saw to it that the family was fed, dressed and at church 30 minutes before anyone else, whenever the doors were opened. All the children were involved in Sunday School, Training Union, Wednesday prayer services, choirs—from pre-school to youth–RA’s or GA’s, and every Bible Study, and revival held at the church. If there was a conflict between school and church, the family went to church.
In her children’s eyes, Nita was the one who made the house a home. “She cooked our meals, kept a scrupulously clean house and made a majority of the clothes the girls wore, all on a tight budget. Mom showed us how to live and love as a family. We ate evening meals together around the dinner table, watched the same TV shows, attended church together, and ended each night with our family devotions. She showed us how to be responsible, compassionate adults and how to parent our own children.”
Nita worked as Financial Secretary at the church for several years. She continued to sing in the choir until she became unable to walk into the loft, and to teach Sunday School until she became homebound. She spent around 70 years contributing to the church and celebrating the church’s milestones.
In 2018 Nita decided it was time to move closer to family. She moved into the Winnie L. Nursing and Rehabilitation Home in Cameron, Texas that September, closer to her oldest son, Randy Holly. She brought her beloved game, Spinner to the home and introduced it to her new friends.
Nita was preceded in death by her parents and five siblings; husband William Holly, son William Ray Holly, and two stillborn granddaughters.
She is survived by two daughters, Terrye Rogers and husband Ernie of Goode, Va. and Nita Jo Bynum and husband Ronnie of West Warwick, R.I.; two sons, Randy and wife Barbara of Cameron, Texas and Don of Wheatridge, Colo.; daughter-in-law Patricia Holly; grandchildren Tana Jamison, Ryan Rogers, Lyle Holly, Erin Jackson, Michelle Lampert, Jon Paul Bynum, Melissa Holly, and Holly Bynum; eight greatgrandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; 12 more grandchildren and great-grandchildren added by marriage; and numerous nieces and nephews; her brother Danny Wilson, two sisters-in-law, Vialma Vinson and Ann Hoes. Nita is also survived by family-of-the-heart Melinda and Jim Hand, George and Carolyn Chumbley, and Billie Loyd who took care of her when family couldn’t; Denise Moore, and the church family that grew with her during all those years of Sunday School and choir.
Nita’s memorial service will be celebrated Friday, April 23, 2021 at 1 pm in the TLC at the First Baptist Church of Artesia, with her nephew Ellis Wilson officiating. Burial will follow at the Twin Oaks Memorial Park. Arrangements are being made by Terpening & Son Mortuary
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