Martha Nickell Warren Kelsey, 101, of Guthrie, died Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at the Hearthstone Place Nursing Home in Elkton.
She was born in Perry County, Tenn. on Nov. 24, 1911, one of eleven children of the late Marvin and Sula Travis Nickell. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Kelsey was preceded in death by her first husband, Ernest Warren (1962); her second husband, Stillman Kelsey (2008); her daughter, Elizabeth W. Wilson (2009); her daughter-in-law, Billie Warren (2004); her son-in-law, Charlie Payne (2005); her sisters, Mary Rochelle, Anne Reeves and Amy Graves; her brothers, Paul Nickell, Hugh Nickell, Mark Nickell, Jim Nickell and Captain Charles Nickell who was a pilot lost at sea during WWII, and one great-granddaughter (1996).
Mrs. Kelsey was an active member of the Guthrie community and the Guthrie United Methodist Church. In her youth she was a star player and captain for the ladies high school basketball team in Hickman County, Tenn. She and her teammates, including Sarah Cannon (Minnie Pearl), are pictured in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn. She also played on the basketball team at what is now Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. After receiving her teaching certification she taught in a one room school in Hickman County, Tenn.
Funeral services were held Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of the Cook-Webb Funeral Home with Rob Ballard officiating. Burial will be held Friday, Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. in the Charles Nickell Memorial Park in Centerville, Tenn. Visitation began at the funeral home Thursday, Feb. 7 from 5-7 p.m.
Her grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
She is survived by her sons, E.L. Warren and Jon Warren, both of Guthrie; her daughters, Mary Frances Matthews (Sid) of Hermitage, Tenn., Floy Philbrick (Sonny) of Franklin, Wilma Payne of Sun City, Fla. and Susan Joseph (Robin) of Clarksville, Tenn.; her son-in-law, Alfred Wilson of State College, Penn.; 20 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; her brother, Joe Nickell of Maryville, Tenn., and her sister, Christine McClannahan of Centerville, Tenn.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Guthrie United Methodist Church or to Pennyroyal Hospice.