A Life Lived: Peggy Potter had a soft spot and kind word for others

Published 3:56 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Editorial Director
Peggy Potter died October 9 at the age of 79. She had been a resident of Ivy Hall Nursing Home for 11 years. But, even longer than that, she had worked as a nurse caring for people. The last 32 years of her nursing career was spent at the James H. Quillen Mountain Home VA Medical Center
Her daughter, Melinda, shared that her mother was a good nurse. “She enjoyed taking care of our veterans. Her favorite thing about nursing was getting patients ready for surgery, and then post-op, making sure they got the proper care. She was a very caring person, but was a fun person, too.”
She graduated from the Banner Elk Licensed Practical School. She worked night shift most of the time at the VA.
In addition to her nursing career, Peggy was the mother of twin daughters, Melisia and Melinda of Elizabethton, and a son, Michael of San Diego, Calif. She had five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Melinda described her mother as a loving and kind person, who enjoyed spending time with her family. “When we were going up, we lived in Roan Mountain. Later we moved to the Central Community. She would often take us to Roan Mountain State Park on outings. Mom was a Lady Vols fan, and enjoyed watching them play. She also liked to watch UT Vol football games. That was about the only TV she watched,” her daughter said.
The last 11 years of her life were spent at Ivy Hall Nursing Home, where she bonded with the staff. “She was especially close to Tim Andrews, activity director, Terry Pope, and her nurses, Lisa Jones and Kristi Allen. Mom enjoyed the nursing home activities. She always attended the musical programs, especially when the Elvis impersonator came. She also enjoyed the church services at the nursing home,” said Melinda.
Andrews, when thinking about Potter, said “She was a wonderful friend and helped me through some hard times, especially during the death of my son. She was a lot of fun and was a happy person.”
“COVID was hard on the residents, especially during the lockdown when they were quarantined to their rooms and could not have visitors. This went on for almost a year or more, and it took its toll on all the residents,” Melinda shared.
Before going to the nursing home, Peggy attended church at Valley Forge Free Will Baptist Church. She loved her church and pastors, Rev. Randy Johnson and Rev. Mark Potter. “She was faithful to her church,” her daughter shared.
“Mom was a wonderful mother. She was there for her family and enjoyed spending time with us. I remember her attending my basketball games at Happy Valley High School. She was a Warrior fan. She loved her family, her church, and was a good nurse. I would say she was successful in all things she did,” said Melinda.
A friend at the nursing home shared that Peggy would say, “I am a nurse. It’s not what I do. It’s what I am.”
The nurse-friend added, “She was a unique person, was upbeat most of the time and had this inner need to care for others.”
Peggy Potter, for sure, was a very caring person, who had a smile and kind word for almost everyone.

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