Jody Ann Nightingale was born to Richard and Judy Koehn Nightingale at Ivy Memorial Hospital in West Point, Mississippi on July 28, 1975. She went to meet the Lord in the early afternoon of July 21, 2020 at her home in Brooksville Mississippi as the result of a short illness. She was forty-four years old.
Jody spent her earliest years on two different farms in the West Point area. At five years of age she moved with her family to the Northwood Forest community north of West Point, where she spent the rest of her growing up years. She received her education at West Point Mennonite School. Jody gave her heart to the Lord at the age of thirteen and was baptized on December 18, 1988 by her uncle, Min. Rawlin Nightingale. She remained faithful to those vows until her death. One of the most special highlights of her life was the year she spent at the Navajo childcare home, Hogan Hozhoni, in Window Rock, Arizona. She made so many lasting friendships during that year and her “Window Rock Sisters” were very dear to her. After returning from Arizona she was looking for new horizons and found those with her aunt and cousins in Detroit, Texas. After teaching for a couple years at Red River Mennonite School, Jody moved in with her friends, Regena Hiebert and Roxanne Ensz, and went to work at an assisted living home in Paris, Texas. The Detroit congregation and her friends there were a treasure to her. We as a family always felt that Jody’s years with her Texas family were some of the best of her life. In 2010, she moved back to East Mississippi to help cook in her parent’s restaurant, Nightingale’s Pantry & General Store. Soon after relocating she lost her father to complications from renal cancer. She and her mother Judy enjoyed working and traveling together after that life-altering event. In time, she took a part-time job cooking for the Oakwood Retirement Community in Brooksville, Mississippi. She soon became a full-time cook in the Oakwood kitchen and moved down to live in Brooksville. Her Oakwood family, both residents and fellow employees were dear to her.
Jody will be remembered especially for her culinary abilities. Loving to research and try lots of new recipes, she always surprised us with unique and delicious dishes. She enjoyed her nieces and nephews and special memories are of her passing the torch of “creative cooking” on to them. Her cooking at Oakwood was fantastic and was appreciated by employees and residents alike. She also found a love for animals, that she never before had known she possessed, when she adopted “Skeeter.” He was a rescue dog, a Shi Tzu, that provided her with constant companionship in spite of being of questionable character in most of our minds. Jody was a lover of books and reading. Old books especially intrigued her, and she enjoyed both reading and collecting them. She was actively involved as a librarian for the West Point Mennonite School library. She also had a cherished place in her heart for her Koehn cousins and hanging out with them was a favorite activity. We as her family and friends will especially miss her self-deprecating humor and wit.
Left to cherish loving memories are her mother and three siblings: Judy Nightingale of Brooksville, Mississippi; Tamara and husband Aaron Koehn of West Point, Mississippi; Tyson Nightingale and wife Wendy of Murray, Kentucky; Roxanne and husband Arlen Toews of West Point, Mississippi. Missing her also are ten nieces and nephews along with her many cousins, coworkers, and friends. She was preceded in death by her daddy, Richard Nightingale.
A small funeral service will be held Saturday morning, the 25th of July 2020 at the West Point Mennonite Church with pastors Errol Wedel, Mark Koehn, and Brad Wedel officiating. Interment will follow at West Point Memorial Gardens. Robinson Funeral Home is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.
There will be an open visitation with family and friends 6-8 PM Friday July 24, 2020 at the West Point Mennonite Church.
Memorials may be made to Oakwood Retirement Community 55 Oakwood Dr. Brooksville, MS 39739.