Olive Ruth Cheavens (nee Newkirk), age 96, passed away on October 20, 2019 following a brief illness and hospice care. Olive was born September 9, 1923 in Warrensburg, Missouri, the daughter of Rev. George and Olive Newkirk and she grew up in Syracuse, Missouri. She was happily married to her beloved Paul Burdette Cheavens for 67 years until his death in 2012. They had two children, Stephen Burdette Cheavens and Deborah Sue Cheavens Goodwin. As a graduate of Stephens College (’43), Olive worked as the head nursery school teacher at Oak Hill Center in St. Louis and later as secretary for the Columbia Public School system for many years. Additionally, she was a vibrant community member at Nashville Baptist Church, Countryside Baptist Church and, later, Parkade Baptist Church.
Olive was an integral member of every community of which she was a part, including her family, her church, the school system, the Terrace, and her neighborhoods. She was always willing to lend a hand, bring a dish, make a cup of coffee, or offer an ear to anyone in need. She volunteered in the gift shop at the Boone Hospital Center and the Columbia Senior Center. Her faith was extremely important to her and she lived her life as a faithful servant. She was an excellent seamstress and craftsperson and enjoyed creating gorgeous quilts, blankets, embroidered pieces and other items throughout her life. She loved and was loved immensely by her family.
Olive was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Cheavens, and siblings George, Joanne, Pam, and Valda. She is survived by her daughter, Deborah Cheavens, and son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Carolyn Cheavens; grandchildren Amanda McFarland, Steven Goodwin, Jennifer Cheavens, and Elizabeth Lambiotte; and great-grandchildren Mackenzie, Caden, and Colby MacFarland, Clara Goodwin and Josephine Lambiotte as well as a number of nieces, nephews, and friends.
Services will be held Friday, October 25, 2019, at Nashville Baptist Church with visitation at 1:00PM followed by funeral services at 2:00PM. Pastor Jim Bender will officiate. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Nashville Baptist Church Cemetery.