Nell Rivers Gannaway, 25 days short of 93 years of age died peacefully at 5:30 pm on October 18, 2018. Nell spent the last seven months of life with her daughter and son-in-law, Jo and Grady Coggins, in Rising Fawn, Georgia, on the top of Lookout Mountain.
Born and named Nellie Maydell Rivers, November 13, 1925, she was the third child of Theresa (Dell) and Heyward (Jake) Rivers in Augusta, GA, in their life long home on Olive Road.
To try and recapture all of the Highlights of Nell’s life would require a book and is beyond the scope of this writing. Her main legacy in Life, besides her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, would be her love for people, her special friends, and her ability to connect and share with them. Rarely would she meet a stranger; she enjoyed talking to and charming anyone who took the time to sit and chat for a spell. She loved to laugh and have fun. She loved being the ‘boss’. She could be audacious, a force to be reckoned with AND a strength and pillar. She always tried to be available for her family and friends. Her only claim to vanity were her beautiful hands and fingernails. She loved getting Gel Nails and even at 92 she used Ferarri RED. She was constantly complimented about her nails and loved it. Her accomplishments include but are not limited to: raising her family and launching them into the world, owning and running a child care center, owning and managing The Cross and The Crown Christian Bookstore in Conyers with her husband, Tolbert, in their retirement years.
The mainstay in her life was her FAITH, her relationship to Jesus, GOD and her church. Nell was always involved in her church and LOVED being the Managing Cook in the Kitchen and/or LOVED teaching her Sunday School class. She loved to sing, sounded much like a cross between a crow and a burro, would laugh and say she had been taught to sing with JOY to the Lord, no matter. About 19 years ago she helped found a new non denominational church in Conyers, GA, Haven Fellowship. She has loved it so faithfully. And she especially loved Steve and Lynn Powers, Pastor, Pastor’s wife and dear friends. There is simply not enough space and time to list her long, long list of friends. She loved to “argue” (debate) as she was taught by her mother, who told Nell that she was the best of all the kids to argue with... she would argue her Faith and Beliefs with anyone and with the best. She was most often admired for her stance.
Nell is preceded in death by her parents, Heyward and Dell Rivers; her brother, Heyward Jr.; her son, whom she loved so much, James Heyward, (Chuck); her sister, Martha Louise Jarrell; her husband, Tolbert E. Gannaway; and her brother, Harold E. Rivers.
Nell’s family has always been large and wonderful. She is survived by her sister, Nancy R. Warren (Jack) of Lake Oconee in Greensboro, GA. Her daughters: Peggy C. Olson (Grant) of Statham, GA.; Jo C. Coggins (Grady) of Rising Fawn, GA; Jane C. Malcom (Mike) of Lake Arrowhead in Waleska, GA.
She loved and nurtured her five wonderful grandchildren (listed in chronological order): Chanda Ross Clements, Athens, GA; Carmen Ross Seckinger (Doy), Commerce, GA; Jake Wayne Coggins, Conyers, GA; Mindy M. McGee (Mark), Calhoun, GA; and Christi M. Ward (Brent), Canton, GA.