Nell Haas Driver, age 92, the Grand Matriarch of the James G. “Bobo” Driver Family, entered into Heaven on October, 18, 2012. During the past few years she lived at The Webb House, then the NHC Nursing home in Smithville were she passed away peacefully.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Enoch Henry Haas and Lela Lane Haas Curtis; her step-father Wesley Curtis; her two brothers, Harl and Walter Haas; her husband, James G. "Bobo" Driver; her third son, Randall Gray Driver; grandson Jake McClain Driver; and step-grandson J.R. Turrentine.
She is survived by five sons, Jim Driver and Donnie Driver of Smithville; Mickey and Debbie Driver of Houston, Texas; Gary Driver of Tullahoma; and Terry and Charlotte Ann Driver, who live in Indiana. Also surviving are step-sister Perri Mathis and husband Owen of Shelbyville; step-brother Jack Curtis and wife Inez of El Segundo, California; two nieces; 12 grandchildren and their families, including, 18 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
Nell was born July 31, 1920 at her parents’ home at Snow Hill, about four miles west of Smithville. Her home was at the intersection of Snow Hill Road and Mann Hill Road. She grew up there with her dad and mom, and her two brothers. She attended Snow Hill Elementary School and Smithville High School. She played basketball on the Snow Hill grammar school team, and in high school played on the PTA seasonal team.
Her dad was a DeKalb County Justice of the Peace, and a farmer who had mules, horses, milk cows and who raised corn, tobacco, and large vegetable gardens. The family grew just about everything they ate. She was a member of 4H Club and attended their camps each summer at Columbia, Tennessee. Always an extrovert who loved to socialize, she had many school and neighborhood friends, some with whom she maintained lifelong relationships.
Growing up she attended Snow Hill Methodist Church where she belonged to the young people's group, the Epworth League. It was a group that studied scriptures, but also provided a place for young people to socialize. Her grandparents and parents donated land for the church, which was near their home, and which is still in use today.
Nell first met her husband of 54 years, James G. “Bobo” Driver, in 1936 when he was working for a road crew in front of her Snow Hill home. Soon after that she met him at a party at a neighbor's house. They liked each other instantly and after a few years of courtship they were married on November 27, 1938.
Bobo loved to play bluegrass music and sing, and so did Nell. Their six sons inherited their parents’ talent and passion for playing music. For years Bobo, Nell and their sons performed as the Driver Family Band, appearing at school and church functions all over middle Tennessee. The family has a picture showing them singing on the courthouse steps in Smithville on the Fourth of July 1953. They also performed at the Junior Grand Ole Opry in Nashville where they had many friends in the country music business.
Nell was well known in the Smithville Community for her volunteer work with several organizations, including the Smithville Jamboree. She served as registrar for the Jamboree for 15 years. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and a member of the Smithville Church of Christ for over 40 years. Before retiring, she worked for the Smithville Community Development and Housing Agency for 12 years.
Nell’s great pride was her family. She sincerely loved them all, including her extended family, past and present. She cherished being “Mommy Nell” and having her home be the focal point of family gatherings, especially during the holidays of Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Her sense of humor, devilish smile, generous laughter, and ability to teach through example the importance of family and unconditional love, is a legacy that will live on through countless Driver family generations.
Visitation will be at Love-Cantrell Funeral Home in Smithville from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Saturday, October 20, and from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 21. Funeral Services will be at the funeral home chapel at 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 21 followed by interment at DeKalb Memorial Gardens in Smithville.
In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to remember and honor Nell’s life can contribute to the Nell Haas Driver Scholarship Fund at any Regions Bank, account 0166664926. The fund will be used to help a student from DeKalb County High School attend college.