A Life Lived: Mary Nave devoted her time and life to helping others

Published 1:06 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

BY ROZELLA HARDIN
Editorial Director
rozella.hardin@elizabethton.com
True luxury is being able to own your time – to be able to take a walk, sit on your porch, read the paper, not take the call, not be compelled by obligation.
Mary Esther Nave enjoyed doing all these things, but she also knew what it was not to have any free moments, to work, and to freely give of herself to help others.
Mary, 84, died Dec. 8 of COVID pneumonia. Thankfully, her illness was brief.
Mary devoted the better part of her younger years taking care of her aged parents, Coy Nave Sr. and Minnie Little Nave. She never worked at a public job until after the death of both parents. She never wanted them to have to go to a nursing home, and they didn’t, thanks to Mary.
But, after their passing, the nursing home is where Mary chose to work, first as a CNA at a Johnson City nursing home, and later as a cook at Ivy Hall Nursing Home. She spent most of her working years at Ivy Hall.
Following her retirement, Mary enjoyed sitting on the front porch, and watching the cars (and trucks) go by. A friend, Elaine Brumit, shared that Mary’s house was located at the end of Long Hollow Road where there was a four-way stop sign. “She was a familiar figure to most of the people who traveled that road and they almost always waved at her or honked their horn when she was on the porch. Oftentimes, she would fix her a bowl or plate of food and take it to the front porch to eat,” said Elaine.
Mary was single all her life, but was a mother and friend to many, especially to her family and friends. She was preceded in death by three sisters and two brother, as well as a niece and nephew. Her nephew, Joey Nave, also died of COVID earlier this year.
May drove a little truck, and washed it often. She was an early riser, and usually had her house cleaned by 10 a.m. as well as much of her day’s work. Elaine said Mary mowed her yard up until a few years ago.
“Mary was the best housekeeper around. She cleaned all the time., did her own laundry and shopping, and enjoyed working in her flowers. She always had beautiful flowers,” said Elaine.
Elaine shared that Mary in her younger years was a hard worker. She worked as hard as any man.
“She was also a good cook. Her favorite things to fix were roast and cornbread. At her graveside service, everyone acknowledged eating her tasty food at one time or another,” Elaine said.
“Mary was just a simple person, but she was a most caring and kind person, who loved people and doing for others,” her friend said.
Mary’s sister-in-law, Farris Nave, lived nearby and every morning, Farris’ dog, Molly, visited Mary. Mary often fed him and on cold mornings wrapped her in a blanket. She loved not only people, but the critters, too.
Mary was a member of Zion Baptist Church, but in her later years attended True Gospel Baptist Church.
Mary Nave was like one of those pillars on her front porch. Sometimes, she was there to hold you up, sometimes she was there to lean on, and other times it was just comforting to know that she was standing by.
Sadly, Mary Nave was one of those people COVID claimed. It is no respecter of persons. It has taken the lives of many good people.