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Mrs. Nina Shivers Lott, age 97, of Nicholls, Georgia, died peacefully on May 31, 2023.
If you are from Nicholls and above a certain age, she may have taught you how to read and what the word obituary means. Generations of Nicholls residents also had the pleasure of swimming in her pool on warm summer days.
Nina was born on August 27, 1925, in Dooly County, Georgia. She was the daughter of Andrew J. and Bufa Shivers, née Gammage. Soon after she was born, the family moved to Americus, where Nina grew up and attended school. Nina had a happy childhood with parents she cherished, a brother she adored, and an older sister who was her first and most influential teacher.
She graduated from Americus High and continued her education at Georgia Southwestern College. Nina applied for her first teaching certificate on her 18th birthday. She taught briefly in Webster and Sumter counties before answering a classified ad in the Atlanta Journal seeking a teacher in Nicholls. There, Nina met Ralph "Bunk" Grady Lott, and a very happy and loving marriage followed. In 1953, they welcomed their cherished son, Jon Lott.
Nina’s first classroom in Nicholls was a former train depot heated by a single potbelly stove, her class was a mix of grades and ages ranging from five to seventeen. Eventually, she made it out of the depot and into the school building. She would stay in Nicholls for the next 70 years.
In her 30-year career as a teacher and librarian at Nicholls School, Nina shared her love of reading and learning with countless students. Outside of her family, she took no greater joy than in teaching children to read and reading to them.
Retirement didn’t slow Nina down. She spent the next 40 years working tirelessly to make Nicholls and Coffee County better places to live and work.
Nina’s belief in the equalizing power of education was matched by her dedication to democracy. She saw local government as the way we directly care for others. She was a longtime member of the Nicholls City Council and its first female member.
As council member, Nina prioritized projects that would benefit Nicholls long after her time and worked to attract businesses to Nicholls and Coffee County that continue to provide jobs and other benefits for her community. It would be difficult to list all the projects and initiatives she was involved in, but she was instrumental in organizing the construction of CoreCivic and was a vocal supporter of the new facilities at Nicholls Elementary. Nina also served for many years on the Coffee Regional Medical Center Board.
Nina was a lifelong Christian and longtime Methodist. While her health allowed, Nina was an active member at Bickley United Methodist Church.
Nina saved the most care and attention for her family. She and Bunk truly loved each other and Jon, who was wise enough to appreciate how well he was raised. Her grandchildren owe their own successes to her care and attention, and all four of her great-grandchildren were able to sit in her lap in her lifetime.
Nina Lott was not the person to ask if your dress made your backside look fat. She didn’t believe in white lies. She spoke the truth openly and powerfully, and for those who knew her best it is what will be missed most.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, son, parents, brother (Gammage Shivers), and sister (Mervin Fennessy), a much-loved basset hound named Ms. Lillie Pearl, and another four-legged friend name Mr. Lewis C. Cat.
She is survived by her grandchildren Rhani Lott Choi (Eugene), Greige Lott (Nicole), and Jaime King. Nina was the adored great-grandmother of Jimmy, Elliot, Rafe, and Vivienne.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers that you donate to the educational or civic charity of your choice.
Visitation will be held Friday, June 9, 2023, at Sims Funeral Home from 6 PM to 8 PM. A graveside service will be held Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 11 AM at Roberts Cemetery.
Sims Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.