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Nadine Lavina Athey

Nadine Lavina Athey

February 24, 1929 – January 3, 2020

Nadine Lavina Todd Athey 90 passed away January 3, 2020 in Castle Rock, Colorado. Nadine, a long time Armona-Hanford resident, moved to Castle Rock to live with her daughter three years ago.

Nadine was born in Ingalls, Oklahoma on the family farm on Sunday, February 24, 1929. She was the youngest child of Ed and Grace Dove Amey Todd. Born into a family of boys, as a child she always wanted to prove she could do what her older brothers did. Parents and brothers Glen, Merle, Eddie, Wilbur and Melvin have all preceded her in death.

Nadine's family was part of the Dust Bowl migration from Oklahoma to California to find work during the Great Depression of 1929. The move was made when she was in the 3rd grade. Her family worked hard at various farm labor jobs. She hated the term “Okies” as it was considered a derogatory term but in her later years was very proud of that name as she knew what it represented in hard work and achievement.

Nadine made herself a renaissance woman. An inquisitive nature allowed her to study and grow until her later years and gave her wonderful memories. She had many hobbies including gardening, sewing, and learning anything new that would broaden her horizon.

Nadine decided to pursue nursing and worked as a labor and delivery nurse for many years at Hanford Adventist hospital. She found incredible joy welcoming lots of newborns. Later, she was a staff and resource developer at Canterbury Villa in Hanford and in Fresno at the California Armenian home.

One of the things she studied and learned was genealogy. This hobby helped her develop lifelong friendships, learning so much about her own family history, and helping many individuals find out about their own family roots. Up until her passing, she was still interested in other's life stories and their names as it tied to their family history. Her husband Bob, also an avid genealogist and other friends sought out to capture the history of all of cemeteries in the county. Through their efforts, all Kings County cemeteries that could be accessed, about 16 different cemeteries, were indexed and recorded for future generations. Bob and Nadine put together a series of books “Gone but not Forgotten”, (3 Volumes Kings County Cemetery Records, 1860-1995). Those records now sit in various state libraries, Washington DC and in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint genealogical libraries.

Through this love of history, she took on the role of director of the Carnegie Museum. She loved helping others, from school children to the elderly, discover their family roots and appreciate the rich history of Kings County. She took this job seriously and offered improvement and assistance to a large number of individuals and families.

She was a member of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), the National Society of Magna Carta Dames, The Renegades and Kings County Historical Society.

Nadine was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the centering of her life. She said she has tried to live its teachings and to live by the 10 commandments. She has had several callings in the church from Primary President, to the Stake Relief Society Presidency and truly enjoyed working for the church welfare program helping in the foster and adoption programs.

The love of her life and partner in adventures was Robert Leland Athey. Through their marriage, they had the opportunity to take on many worthy projects together, travel and see their family grow. Along the way, Nadine was a Girl Scout troop leader, a 4-H leader and a volunteer for several worthy nonprofits. As the years went by, growth came with grandchildren. She and Bob worked tirelessly to incorporate the town of Armona. They were disappointed with the outcome, yet they still made the area a much better town. They actively supported any cause that would enrich the community and country. Robert preceded Nadine in death in 2012. A daughter, Sandra Lynn Athey Davis, a son Lonnie Stephen Nicholson Athey and a grandson, Michael Horan have also preceded her in death.

If Nadine's life could be summed up in one word, it would be “Family”. Her lifelong goal was to forge a strong family. Family members include son, James (Skip) Athey, Hanford, daughter, Robin Athey Graves of Castle Rock, Co., 15 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren, a sister-in-law, Avis Todd, of Hanford, nieces and nephews and friends everywhere young and old.

Please join us as we reflect on the wonderful life of Nadine on Friday, January 17th for a Visitation from 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 11:30 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; 2400 N. 11th Ave, Hanford, CA 93230 then Burial will follow at Grangeville Cemetery; 10428 14th Ave, Armona, CA 93202.

Services by People's Funeral Chapel 559-584-5591.

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