Esther Pearl Nugent
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Esther Pearl Nugent
Pearl was born June 11, 1922, at her family home in Anderson. The middle of three children of Shannon and Minnie McMeans Nugent, Pearl graduated from Lauderdale County High School in 1940.
She began her teaching career in 1943 at Anderson Elementary where she taught for 12 years while continuing her education and gaining her degree from Florence State Teachers College in 1951. In 1955 she transferred to Rogersville Elementary where she taught until she retired in 1976.
Pearl taught first through sixth grades over the years but mainly enjoyed the third grade where she said "they're old enough to take care of themselves but not old enough they sass the teacher."
After living all her life in the family home in Anderson, she and her sister Margaret moved to Athens in 1966 and continued living there while enjoying their retirement, antiquing, volunteering, traveling and doting on their nieces and nephew. In 2006, they began splitting their time between Athens and Nashville to be closer to family, making the move permanent later in the decade.
After losing Margaret in 2012, Pearl moved into assisted living where she enjoyed crosswords, puzzle books, reading the Bible and making potholders. She also loved to tell stories of the past, affectionately known as Grandpa Tales, and was an amateur historian of East Lauderdale County. Her near photographic memory made her stories hard to dispute, and made her a much sought-after expert on local genealogy, whether for her family or any other family from her home community.
Pearl joined the Hurricane Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1934, where she later taught Sunday school classes and would "peck out a hymn or two on the piano when Margaret was sick." After moving to Athens, she transferred her membership to the First Presbyterian Church, where she remained a member until she passed.
Pearl was preceded in death by her parents, Shannon Moses and Minnie Lella (McMeans) Nugent; sister and best friend, Margaret Nell Nugent; brother, Rev. Samuel Ellis Nugent and sister-in-law Sue (Doyle) Nugent.
She is survived by her nieces, Cynthia Nugent Bryant (Stephen) Cookeville, Tennessee, Renee Nugent Barnhill (John) Columbia, Tennessee; her nephew, Samuel D. Nugent, Nashville, Tennessee, Todd Stutts; great nieces, Dawn Baker, Michelle Fox and Carrie Bryant; great nephews, Andrew Bryant and Trey Fox.
Visitation will be Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. in the chapel at Rogersville Funeral Home where the service will take place at 2 p.m.. Burial will follow at Rogersville Civitan Cemetery. Officiating will be the Rev. Michael Bush and the Rev. Jaina Anderson Glaze.
Pallbearers are Andrew Bryant, Carrie Bryant, Stephen Bryant, Todd Stutts, Lynn Dabney, Ruth Whitsett, Ross Smith and Charles Hardy. Honorary Pallbearers: the staff and caregivers at Morningside of Belmont.
Contributions may be made to Alive Hospice, 1718 Patterson St., Nashville, Tennessee 37203.
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