Ava Nell Antilley, 92, of Abilene, passed away peacefully Friday, April 2, 2010 at Hendrick Medical Center.
Nell was born September 2, 1917, in the Elmdale Community, Taylor County, Texas to George Harrison Blackburn and Annie (Underwood) Blackburn. She attended school at Elmdale, graduated from Abilene High School and received a degree from Hardin-Simmons in 1939. She was a lifelong resident of Taylor County and lived her entire life in the Elmdale Community.
August 2, 1940, Nell married Milton Antilley in Elmdale. She began her teaching career at Colony Hill, Taylor County, and later taught at Wylie Elementary School. Nell was also a longtime Sunday School teacher. She had been a member of Elmdale Baptist Church since she was 9 years old. Nell was a member of the Retired Teachers Association of Abilene.
A devoted Christian, Nell devoted her life to family, church and education. As a mother, grandmother, teacher and friend, she led by example. She never met a stranger nor had a cross word to say. Nell loved to garden and her flowers filled her house with happiness and love. She enjoyed nothing more than the sound of her home filled with her family, from the stories being told by her grandchildren to the laughter of her great-grandchildren playing.
Nell was preceded in death by her parents, Elmdale Pioneers, George and Annie Blackburn; her husband, Milton Antilley; her son, Mack Antilley; two brothers, G.H. Blackburn, Jr. and Vernon Blackburn; her sister, Maxine Hollingshead and one grandson, Aaron Shafer.
Nell is survived by two daughters, Nancy Shafer and husband Leroy
of Missouri City, Texas, Jane Malone and husband Jim of Abilene; two
brothers, Cecil Blackburn of Abilene and Don Blackburn and wife Jessie,
also of Abilene; two sisters-in-law, Chera Hohhertz and husband Harold,
and Hazel Antilley; one brother-in-law, Bobby Antilley and wife Winnie;
three grandchildren, Jennifer McDaniel and husband Russell of Abilene;
Jill Pearson and husband Wes of Midland; and Jaime Malone of Ft. Worth;
four great-grandchildren, Jaxon and Jaden McDaniel of Abilene, and
Blakely and Brooklyn Pearson of Midland.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 pm Monday, April 5, 2010 at Elmdale Baptist Church, with Rev. Robert Cheatheam and Chaplain Mike Patrick officiating. Burial will follow in the Potosi Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 6:00 pm Sunday, April 4, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
Pallbearers will be Buster Smith, Cody Smith, Len Antilley, Tim Hohhertz, Mark Bland and Joe Snow.
Memorials may be sent in honor of Nell Antilley to Hendrick Hospice Care, P.O. Box 1922, Abilene, Texas 79604; or to Elmdale Baptist Church, 233 South Elmdale Road, Abilene, Texas 79602.