West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242


Nellie Hope Mullen Blackburn was born July 22, 1935 in Macomb, Missouri to Ronald Mullen and Mary Jane Ryan Mullen.  She went to her eternal home on Christmas morning, December 25, 2021, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma at age 86. 

She was united in marriage to Doyle Blackburn on September 23, 1977.

Nellie is survived by her children, Mary Lynn Chastain and husband Chuck of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and Mary Lea Shehorn and husband Don of Thayer, Missouri; one treasured sister-in-law; Ruth Goans of Mammoth Spring, Arkansas; grandchildren, Marla (Mark) White of Lee’s Summit, Missouri and Alan Pender of Thayer, Missouri; great grandchildren, Rachelle Drescher, Braydon Pender (fiancé Aubrey King), Maryn White and Reese Pender;  great-great grandchildren; Graham Drescher and Banks Pender; nephews, Rick Goans (Melissa Jones), Eddie (Beverly) Goans, Andy Goans (Angela Meredith) , Michael (Lisa) Mullen and Dan (Barbara) Mullen; nieces Laurie Maney and Mara Silies; other relatives; and a host of friends.  She loved and cared for her family with unconditional love and devotion.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Doyle; her parents, Ronald and Mary Jane Mullen; and her brothers, John Mullen, Bill Mullen and Richard Goans.

Nellie was a lifelong member of Midway Pentecostal Church, and all who knew her knew how much she loved her Lord and her church.

She was a bookkeeper most of her working career, first with Trimble’s Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, followed by Blackburn Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, and then Heartland Auto Mart.  Upon retirement she found a new calling in volunteering at the Thayer Fun and Friends Senior Center.  She loved being of service to others alongside her many friends, new and old, at the Center.

The family wishes to thank all of her wonderful caregivers at Shepherd’s View in Alton, Missouri and Prairie House Memory Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma for their care, love and devotion to her.

Nellie will be truly missed by her family and friends.

Funeral services for Nellie Hope Blackburn of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, formerly of Thayer, Missouri, will be held on Thursday, December 30. 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer, Missouri with Brother Anthony Woods officiating.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Carter Funeral Home in Thayer, Missouri.

Burial will be on Thursday, December 30. 2021 in Thayer Cemetery in Thayer, Missouri with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Thayer Fun & Friends Senior Center or the American Alzheimer’s Association.  Donations may be left at Carter Funeral Home in Thayer, Missouri.



  1. Ron and Ann Cowens
    December 27, 2021 @ 9:44 pm

    Mrs.Nellie was one of the most pleasant ladies I had ever met..Always had a beautiful smile and something nice to say to anyone and everyone she came in contact with.


  2. Brenda Cozbey
    December 28, 2021 @ 7:03 pm

    I loved Miss Nellie..she was a beautiful person inside and out…may God bless of you and give you comfort during your time of sorrow….


  3. Marie Smith
    December 29, 2021 @ 8:04 am

    Miss Nellie, as my spouse Ed Smith & I called her while living in Couch, MO. She & I worked @ the Thayer Sr Ctr & her love for people shined daily. She was a dear friend to me & we shared Bible verses & prayed together in her little humble home. One winter the weather kept me getting home for 3 days so she gave up her bed for me & slept on her couch. It was then she taught me some good southern cooking since we came from IL & shared many family stories. She also had me accompany her @ her church in Mammouth, AR on Sunday & her glowing testimony to the church folk made a deep impression. Never heard her say a harsh word about anyone. Another time visiting her she showed me how she fashioned her beautiful long hair. Ed would maintain her vehicle @ River Country & she always brought along goodies. There’s no doubt this exceptional unique Christian lady is now rejoicing in Heaven. Amen!


  4. Jenny Underwood
    December 29, 2021 @ 8:23 am

    Miss Nellie was the sweetest lady. She would smile when she saw you and look into your eyes with much love. RIP.


  5. Tammy Cathey
    December 29, 2021 @ 8:57 am

    I will always remember Mrs. Blackburn for her kind heart. I went to work at dealership and I have fond memories of her. If I could share a story. She was teaching me to balance the books & I struggled for half the day finally I asked her if I could just contribute 3 cents & move on. Naturally her reply was back to the books young lady.
    Love her & have fond memories.


  6. Max H. Evans
    December 29, 2021 @ 12:16 pm

    Nellie was simply a wonderful person. I can attest to all the nice things those who remember her have posted, having known her since our early school years. She was the valedictorian of her class (THS ’54) and one of her classmates once told me that she was “smarter than smart.”


  7. Sheila Smith
    December 29, 2021 @ 1:02 pm

    Ms. Nellie was one of the most kind loving ladies I’ve known. Always a smile for everyone. She was a huge inspiration to me throughout her service at the senior center. Never a negative word came out of her mouth, always encouragement and prayer.
    Heaven and Ms. Nellie is rejoicing!!!


  8. Pam Simpson
    December 29, 2021 @ 4:36 pm

    Miss Nellie was one of the sweetest and caring people I have ever met. I loved visiting with her at the Thayer Senior Center. We will all miss her.


  9. Betty Jenkins Jeffers
    December 30, 2021 @ 8:49 am

    I am so sorry I cannot be there in person today. In my growing up years Nellie would drive past our house in Greentown, in her brown toned ’57 (or ’59) Chevy, and always smile and wave at us. In later years I knew Nellie as Mary Lynn’s mother and J.A. Beck’s friend and former classmate. Nellie was a wonderful role model and great example for all of us. In spite of life’s hard blows, she always had a smile and a twinkle in her eye. I do not recall a single time she did not have a smile. In tribute to a long life well lived, with love. Betty Jenkins Jeffers


  10. Rachel Rothgeb Johnson
    December 30, 2021 @ 12:01 pm

    Mrs. Blackburn was such a lovely lady with a wonderful smile. It was always a pleasure to visit with her. Mom adored her and so did I. Please accept my condolences for your loss. Rachel Rothgeb Johnson


  11. Donna & Doyle Fink
    December 30, 2021 @ 6:09 pm

    Sending our condolences to Ms Nellie Blackburns family. She was such a sweet soul, our loss but Heavens gain!


  12. Kathy Anderson
    December 31, 2021 @ 8:12 am

    Miss Nellie, I know you are in heaven with some very impressive wings. I will always love you and know that you are flying with the love you gave us all. Say hello to Richard for me.


  13. Angela Rogers
    January 1, 2022 @ 5:12 pm

    Ms Nellie was one of the sweetest women I know. My Momma loved her so much and she returned that love in the ways she seemed to love us too. I know she will truly be missed but there is a wonderful homecoming for her in heaven. I for one know my Momma will be glad to see her as she treasured her so very much. Condolences to her family and prayers for all of you.


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