Gussie was born July 16, 1936, to the late Reverend Willie Scruggs and Victoria Clayton Scruggs, both who preceded her in death. Gussie and her late husband, Jodie Nicholson (m1955), who preceded her in death had nine children. Gussie was a resident of Marianna, Arkansas and DeSoto Texas. Gussie died on June 17, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. Gussie is survived by her sister, Erma Sparks of Cleveland Ohio.
Gussie and Jodie Nicholson shared the joy of nine loving children in a marriage that lasted till death did them part. Gussie is survived by her nine biological children and three adopted children: Deborah Kelley Hill (Norris); Linda Thomas; Richard Nicholson (Helen); Helen Amar; Bill Nicholson; Cathy Troutman (Rich); Brenda Gilliam (Earl(d)); Cynthia Nicholson Boss (Jim); Nadene VanPelt; Maisha Spears Maxwell (Cornelius); LaKisha Spears Dowden (David); and Rico Spears. Gussie is also survived by her grandchildren Kevin, Tracy, Dewon, Andrew, Cashunda, Deanna, Brandon, Michele, Margo, Nic, Brittney, Breanna, Ashley, Kyle, Kyla, Almedrick, Nathan, Bridgette, Josie, and a host of great grandchildren.
Gussie began her career at Lee High School as a Nurse’s Aide in 1971. She later became a Teacher’s Aid (Pair pros) and continued this journey to serve as an educator and a bus driver with Lee County School District—serving proudly for 34 years (1971-2005) before retiring in 2005. During her tenure in the school system, she served in the following Marianna schools: Lee High School, Strong Middle School, Nunnally Elementary, and culminating her 34-year dream career by living through the lives of the children she served. Gussie received many awards and accolades (career and volunteer) throughout her career.
Gussie continued to serve the community in which she lived by serving as the financial secretary for the Scruggs Chapel United Methodist Church, member of the Lee County School Board, and as a Delta Dream Food Pantry Volunteer. She was also a member of the NAACP, AARP, and National Education Association. As a School Board Member, she proudly handed out diplomas during the 2016 Lee High School Graduation Ceremony.
Gussie lived the life of her dream—filled with the love of her family, and friends. Her greatest reward was the love that she shared and the people she helped along the way! She enjoyed traveling, spending time with her family, reading, decorating, meeting new people, and serving her community! Her travels took her to, Germany, Holland, Czechoslovakia, France, Belgium, England, Hawaii, Maryland, Arkansas, Texas, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Washington, D.C, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, California, Tennessee, Ohio, Canada, Costa Rica, Louisiana, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
She lived her best life. If asked what her biggest accomplishments were, she would say that it was raising her children and creating a legacy centered around her core beliefs of education and family. It gave her great pleasure and a sense of pride to see all the accomplishments of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We think of Mom as the unsung hero because through her strength, courage, endurance, and perseverance she not only touched and shaped the lives of her children, but she also made a difference to all who crossed her path.
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