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Wilma Stidham

November 20, 1928 — June 26, 2023

Wilma “Jean” (Grigsby) Stidham (Mom) passed peacefully in her Goodlettsville home on 26 Jun 2023.  Jean was born in Hardburly Kentucky on 30 Nov 1928, from Margie Elizabeth (Edwards) Grigsby and Lewis Hayes Grigsby.  She was preceded by her husband of 74 years, John H Stidham Sr (2017) and her son John H Stidham Jr (2023).  She is survived by her daughter Margie E Deloach (Allen), son Phillip H Stidham (Cindy) and her 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Jean Stidham spent her early years in the beautiful eastern Kentucky mountains.  She too was a real coal miner’s daughter and lived in several of the largest coal-camps of that time.  Her early years were hard-scrabble but she always spoke lovingly of her time growing up there.  Born just a year before the start of the Great Depression, that experience instilled in her a greater appreciation for anything she earned later in life and her vivid childhood recollections were often the subject of many late-night conversations.  She possessed a rare gift for storytelling and even given her advanced 94 years of life, never lost her remarkable ability to remember names and recall events in great detail.

In her senior year of high school, a young Wilma Jean met the love of her life John, in Hazard Kentucky.  After graduation, they married and set out on their life-long adventure together.  After his brief stint in the coal mines, she convinced her husband that there might be a better (safer) occupation out there and before long, they found themselves managing a commercial turkey farm in Osgood Indiana.  After a few years, John accepted a job working for the USDA as a Federal meat inspector.  Then, in 1966, a job opportunity in Nashville presented itself and they moved their young family from Indiana to their permanent home in Goodlettsville Tennessee.

Jean was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church in Goodlettsville (1966) and loved attending her Sunday school class.  She cherished the time spent visiting with all of her best friends every Sunday...    Let it be known that Wilma Jean was born again, baptized and Loved Her Savior Jesus Christ above all!

Jean was a renowned “country cook” (her words) and could prepare a full meal in record time.  Passing up a chance to eat at Jean Stidham’s was indeed a big mistake as no one ever left mom’s table hungry!  She loved to share her talents and treasured family recipes with her friends and many of them became excellent cooks as well.  She was also known for her exceptional seamstress skills and taught her daughter and many others to sew.  Our mother missed her calling as a teacher.

Mom was a good mother and always put her family’s needs before her own. She was always there to sew a merit badge onto one of her two Eagle Scout’s sashes (she was very proud of that) or celebrate a birthday or special occasion at school with enough cupcakes to feed all the kids and teaching staff as well.

Mom was a great listener and, after careful consideration, would often give a well thought out bit of advice just when a person needed it most.  She had a very positive affect on people.  It’s not unusual for me to run into people who’ll say, “You know, your momma once told me…” and can always recount her sage advice.  She really made a difference in people’s lives.

Mom wasn’t well traveled but was very well read and possessed a remarkable vocabulary.  In addition to cooking and reading, her favorite pastime was accomplishing any type of puzzle. Ranging from very challenging crosswords, cryptograms and intricate picture puzzles.  She always credited this with keeping her mind razor sharp!

Wilma Jean was a wonderful mother and always provided unending love and support to her children.  She loved to brag about her grandchildren and great grandchildren’s achievements and adored her visits with them.

Jean lived a long and rewarding life and left an indelible mark on the hearts of those she met.  She always strived to live by the Golden Rule and her presence will be missed by many.

Wilma Jean Grigsby Stidham, Go now and Rest in your Savior’s loving arms.

Jean and John will be interred at Forrest Lawn Cemetery in Goodlettsville Tennessee

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