Nita Mae Nohren, 93, passed peacefully from this life, surrounded by her loving family, at home in Saint Albans, West Virginia, on Friday, June 18, 2021.
Juanita Mae Mullinix, was born Tuesday, October 4, 1927, the youngest child of Homer and Irma (Baxter) Mullinix. Later she would recall her earliest memories on Lexington Avenue in New York City, delighting her grandkids with colorful anecdotes of her Sicilian uncles who ran an Ice Cream Shop that was actually a front for the speakeasy hidden behind a false wall. After the untimely death of her mother, Nita and her siblings were sent back to Illinois by train, courtesy of the NYC Children's Home and Aid Society, to live with their maternal grandparents, Benjamin and Rachel Baxter, of Shelbyville. Nita lived with extended family and distant cousins until she was adopted in 1941 by Gaylord and Ethel Terry, and joined her sister, Patricia, on the family's farm in rural Shelbyville.
Nita graduated from Shelbyville High School, Class of 1945 and went on to further her education at Huber Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. She married Dr. John K. Turner, in Champaign, Illinois in 1946. Together they lived in many states throughout his career in medical research and academia and raised five children. They divorced in 1970.
On May 16, 1980, Nita married Ward Nohren, and moved to Lakewood, Illinois, where they lived for nearly 40 years. Those 40 years were full of all the things they loved: family, friends, music, travel, parties, and holiday feasts with enough food for an army! Nita (aka Grammy) took pride in maintaining a beautiful home, hosting huge family Thanksgiving dinners, and baking pies from scratch, weeks in advance with her loyal (and very smart) cat, Heidi, always nearby.
Throughout her life, Nita found a variety of creative outlets for her artistic abilities. She was a masterful seamstress and loved quilting, her favorite part was figuring out how to coordinate the different colors and patterns. Her eye for color and detail was evident when she enrolled in painting classes at the age of 75. She continued to paint with oils and acrylics into to her late 80's. She was an avid gardener with a yard full of flowers. Nita and Ward were known for impromptu concerts in the garage (thanks to dear friends Chuck and Becky Housh) and hosted annual Halloween parties for years.
Nita is survived by her husband of 41 years, Ward Nohren; five children: Briana Turner of Taylorville, IL; Tara (Jim) Kelly of Hudson, IL; David Turner of Shelbyville, IL; Tritia (Mike) Whittington of St Albans, WV; and Steven (Brenda) Turner of Westmont, IL; 16 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren and many loving neighbors and friends, including long-time friends and caregivers, Tricia and Tom Atkins, of Cowden, IL.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Bill Young; sister and brother-in-law, Patricia and Jim Talbot and one grandson, Gary Alan Sorrells.
A private burial will be held at Ridge Cemetery in Lakewood, Illinois. Lockart-Green Funeral Home in Shelbyville, Illinois is assisting the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nita Mae (Mullinix) Nohren, please visit our floral store.