Nellie Jo (Wake) Powell, of Idabel, passed away on Wednesday, November 30th, 2022 at the spirited age of 80. Nellie Jo was born on February 17, 1942, the daughter of Wilson “Doc” and Helen (Dyer) Wake in Idabel, Oklahoma.
Nellie Jo was a caring mother, sister, grandmother, friend, and educator to many. She is survived by her brother, Phillip “Phil” Wake; daughter and son-in-law, Paige and Tye Bussell; daughter, Tiffany Scarborough; daughter and son-in-law, Heather and John Travis; grandchildren, Braydee Bussell, Kellan Bussell, Bradley Scarborough and his wife Summer Scarborough, Blake Scarborough, Brandon Scarborough and his wife Santana Scarborough; great-grandson, Beckham Scarborough; nephew, Toby Wake; and niece Amye Wake.
Nellie Jo leaves behind many longtime friends and lifelong students; Kenneth and Linda Reich, Karen Ray, John and Pat Malin, Glynda Pollard, Shaye Jones Brown, Justin Smith, Kelvin Johnson, Mark Hall, Shane Capps, and her favorite student Shannon Daves. She is preceded in death by her parents.
Nellie Jo graduated from Idabel Gray High School in 1960 and continued her higher education to become an educator herself. Nellie Jo dedicated 50 years of her life to teaching throughout McCurtain County. She retired from teaching at Valliant Public Schools in 2000 after 26 years of teaching there. She continued her passion for educating others by filling a substituting role with Idabel and Haworth Public Schools. She always carried her vivacity into every classroom which incurred her infamous sobriquet “Hot Cinnamon”, inspired by her fiery red hair. Her relationship with her students extended beyond the classroom with her creating long friendships with many of her students who maintained their jovial relationships.
Nellie Jo expressed her creativity with painting, sewing, and needle work which were always inspired by Christmas. Her favorite holiday and time of year was the Christmas holiday where her home was filled with the years of crafting accumulating to a wondrous home that would invoke the holiday spirit. She loved to share her collection with friends and family and even opened her home for a few holiday open houses. If Nellie Jo was not busy working on Christmas decorations, you would find her reading a romance novel, watching a western, or spending time with her grandchildren.
Family visitation will be held at Clardy Funeral Service Chapel on Friday, December 2, 2022 between 5:00-7:00 PM. A memorial of life service will be held at the Idabel High School Auditorium on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 10:00 AM. The family invites all family, friends, and past students to attend to commemorate her vivacious and vibrant life she lived.
Nellie Jo loved her students and they brought her great joy so in lieu of flowers, donations to the Nellie Jo Powell Scholarship Fund at Idabel National Bank would be preferred and appreciated.
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