Annelle Edlin Farmer, 91, passed away in the early hours of April 26, 2020. Dementia entered her life 11 years ago. Even though we said goodbye to many areas of her life over those years, her personality remained intact and she still lived a surprisingly vibrant life, including a four-wheeler ride a year ago! She was surrounded by her family for her final earthly goodbye before entering into the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Mom was born in a log cabin in Laws Hill, Mississippi to Lonny and Nannie Edlin, but moved when she was nine to the “big town” of Abbeville. She was third from the youngest of 10 children, five girls and five boys. She loved her family and was quick to recount fond stories of her growing up years. Going against the norm of that time, she proudly attended business college in Memphis, Tennessee.
Her life adventures led her to California and then to Idaho where she met Dad and they were married in 1957. Dad’s job eventually brought them to Salem, Oregon ten years later, where they made their permanent home. Mom loved her southern heritage, which was represented through her gracious southern hospitality and that accent of hers that remained even after moving away from the south 70 years ago!
She was a gifted hostess and homemaker. Sit-down family dinners were a nightly event, and she was always ready to feed whoever showed up at the table. A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that she has had displayed for years says, “Happy is the house that shelters a friend.” She knew how to shelter a friend. Mom was first and foremost a wife and mom. She worked occasionally at part-time jobs, but she still held near and dear to her heart her time that she worked in the business office at Chemeketa Community College. Not only did she make lifelong friends, but she loved the students!
She was outgoing, an animated storyteller, and had a spirit of adventure. Mom was actively involved in every church she attended and was the greatest champion for her children and grandchildren. Her grandchildren were regularly greeted with homemade milkshakes and breakfast outings to the Original Pancake House, which were too numerous to count.
While the first grandchildren were born in Alaska, the distance did not keep her from being a part of their lives. She and Dad enjoyed many trips in their RV to Alaska and eventually all 50 states. Her favorite place to visit, of course, was Mississippi. Caregiving for Mom became a 24/7 job after Dad died in 2016. Mom and Dad lived next door to the Stupfel family for the past 16 years, and those memories are cherished. We were able to keep Mom at home, with the help of a few precious caregivers, and we are so thankful for each one of them!
Several things that Mom did not lose to dementia: sweet, sweet prayers that made you cry and smile, a constant reminder to know and love The Lord, and a spirit of joy and thankfulness. She said, “Thank you, darlin’” and “I love you” every day of her life.
Mom is survived by her brother Dwain (Rose) Edlin of Water Valley, MS, children: Robert (Sara) Farmer of Salem, OR, Melanie (John) Stupfel of Salem, OR, Todd (Kathy) Farmer of Stayton, OR, and Nanette (Randy) Weldon of Lincoln City, OR, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews who adored their Aunt Nell. A private family memorial service with her trademark apple pie and coffee has already been held to celebrate her life. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Union Gospel Mission or Pacific Coast Bible Church, PO Box 934, Pacific City, OR 97135.
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My heart and prayers go out to her precious family. She was indeed a wonderful lady. Always with a smile.