Nelta Lynn Sims Little
Nelta Lynn Sims Little, of the Fairoaks community near Groesbeck, passed away at Providence Hospital in Waco on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Nelta had been living at Groesbeck LTC since March.
After more than ten years at home after her husband, Dean Little, passed away in 2007, she was enjoying the daily company of the other residents, as well as her brother Donald Sims, and her family and friends, who visited her often. In fact, her canasta group met there every Tuesday for their weekly game.
Nelta was transferred to Providence Hospital in Waco on Sunday. Her final afternoon on Tuesday was spent with all her family in the room talking with her, with smiles and laughter and stories remembered and shared. Their last hours together were a beautiful going-away gift for her and her loved ones.
Funeral services were held at First Baptist Church, with Dr. Keith Collier and Dr. Steve Sadler officiating. Granddaughter Cassi Little Rozanski spoke of family memories. Burial followed in Oakes Cemetery (Fairoaks Community).
Pallbearers were Chris Sims, Brett Fewell, Stephen Reed, Cody deCordova, Justin Reed, and Austin Fullinghim.
Nelta was born Aug. 16, 1934, to John Bunk Sims and Ruby Pearl Gibson Sims at Lost Prairie. The family lived at Personville while she was growing up, where her Dad owned a store and served as the last Postmaster of Personville.
She attended school in Fairoaks and was a star volleyball player. She graduated as the valedictorian of the Class of 1951. Nelta continued to love playing volleyball after she graduated and played “Outlaw” volleyball on a team at Groesbeck even up until her late forties, with her kids going to the games. They played against teams in other towns with monthly tournaments.
Nelta was united in marriage with Willa Dean Little, who was from the Sanders Creek community, and whom she had known all through school. They married in Teague on Feb. 2, 1951, and lived all their lives in the Fairoaks community.
Nelta’s family was the most important thing in her life; her husband and her two children when she was young, and then the grandchildren and the great grandchildren. While her children were young, she and Dean rented three different houses in town at different times to keep the kids close to their school and other activities during the week. They would go home to Fairoaks on the weekends to tend the cattle and spent the summer working and baling hay.
While her kids were young, Nelta worked at auction barns in Groesbeck, Angus and Buffalo. She took the kids with her when she could, so they grew up in the auction barn environment. Later she went to work for Southwestern Electric in Groesbeck, and she really loved that work. She took her duties seriously and enjoyed all the customers who came to the office. She continued to work at Mexia after the Groesbeck office closed, until she retired after twenty years.
Nelta was a partner with Dean in their cattle operation, keeping immaculate records. She carried a steno pad each time they went to the pasture and knew the cows by name and number of calves for each cow.
Nelta loved to garden, raising vegetables and preserving the produce. She was an excellent cook, remembered by her family for the best chicken-fried steak in the world, as well as her berry cobblers from berries she picked, her lemon ice-box pies and hummingbird cake.
She was happiest when anyone come to her table to eat, and grandson Clinton enjoyed many summer lunches at her table. Granddaughter Cassi helped her many times when she cooked a full meal of steak, gravy, and all the trimmings with ice tea and packed it all up to serve the men working cattle or baling hay in the pastures.
She loved entertaining her family with Easter brunches and hiding eggs (giving Cassi special info on where the prize egg was hidden.) Christmas was also special, with decorating, and cooking and shopping. She could literally “shop till she dropped.” Casual Fashions in Mexia was a favorite, but she and daughter JoJo also had good times with shopping and lunch in College Station.
The Sims family reunions and the Lost Prairie Memorial were very important to Nelta; in fact, she said the two most important occasions of the year are Christmas and the Lost Prairie Memorial Day (and the Sims family reunions are still held the night before the Memorial.) Since her dad was one of thirteen kids in the Sims family, their family reunions were always large gatherings.
She was a member of a group of eight friends who played canasta ever Thursday night for years, until they changed to afternoons when they didn’t want to drive at night any longer, and they loyally moved the game with her to Groesbeck LTC. She was an active member for many years of the Groesbeck Study Club.
She grew up attending the Baptist Church at Sanders Creek, during the period of time when the family had the preacher for Sunday lunches. She taught children’s Sunday school and VBS there. She was baptized at a young age at the Lost Prairie Baptist Church, and as an adult was a member of the First Baptist Church of Groesbeck. Nelta’s family will cherish the good memories of her life well lived and their special last hours together.
Nelta was preceded in death by her parents, John Bunk Sims and Ruby Pearl Sims; husband Willa Dean Little; and brother, R. Q. Sims.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Charles Dean and Sue Little, of Donie; daughter and son-in-law, Moni Jo Little Mahoney and Dwight Mahoney, of Groesbeck; grandson Clinton Dean Little and wife Monica Little, of Donie; granddaughter Cassi DeNan Little Rozanski and husband Marc Rozanski, of Longview; grandson Phillip Mahoney and wife Tracy, of Flower Mound; grandson Paul Mahoney and wife Kim, of Livingston; great-grandchildren Carson Dean Little, of Donie, Willa Jane Little, of Donie, Milan Dean Rozanski, of Longview, Bryan Mahoney and wife Abbey, of College Station, Eryn McWhorter and husband Josh, of Stephenville, Courtney Mahoney, of Navasota, Madison Mahoney, of College Station, and Marley Jo Mahoney, of Livingston; and great-great grandson Rhett McWhorter, of Stephenville. She is also survived by her brother, Donald V. Sims, of Groesbeck; sister-in-law Sara Sims, of Mexia; and sister-inlaw Mondelle Grube, of Houston; as well as many other extended family.
Visit groesbeckfuneralhome.com to leave messages of condolence in the guestbook.