Nashville, TN—Barbara Ann Missimer of Waverly and Nashville, Tennessee, died on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at St. Thomas-West Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee, after a long battle with cancer. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Harry L. Missimer and Sarah Missimer formally of Waverly, Tennessee, and Wilmington, Delaware.
Barbara is survived by her two children Kevin Denton Pace and Derek Missimer Pace (Sandra) and her three grandchildren Anabella Missimer Pace, Preston Ronald Pace, and Daniella Isabell Pace.
The only child of Harry L. and Sarah Missimer, Barbara was born on December 19, 1943, in Wilmington, Delaware, where she grew up and attended elementary school but later, after her family relocated to Tennessee, attended and graduated from Waverly Central High School in 1961. Barbara then attended the University of Tennessee where, in 1965, she earned her undergraduate degree in Special Education with a concentration in Education of the Deaf. She freely admitted that her real major was her social life where she spent a good portion of her time enjoying events with her Chi Omega sorority sisters. She developed her love of social events, including playing bridge—an interest she pursued throughout her life.
Upon graduating from university, Barbara joined her husband Army Captain Ronald Pace in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, for three years where she taught school and where her first son Kevin was born. Upon return to the states, Barbara taught school at the Tennessee School of the Deaf located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her second son Derek was born shortly thereafter.
Later Barbara completed a master’s degree in education and, subsequently devoted her entire work life to teaching and educational administration. By pursuing advanced educational qualifications, hard work, devotion, and dedication, Barbara rose through the ranks of the Tennessee Department of Education to become Director of The West Tennessee School of the Deaf located in Jackson, Tennessee. Quite a career accomplishment and a position from which she eventually retired to enjoy her golden years.
In addition to pursuing a successful professional career, Barbara displayed her versatility with talents in other areas. She was a great cook, embracing southern dishes even though she came from a northern environment. She had a fashion sense about her which was evidenced in the way she dressed, in the way she decorated her home, and in the easy manner she hosted social events. And she was always ready for a game of bridge or any social interaction. With her ability to accept people as they were and her easy demeaner, Barbara developed a wide variety of friendships at church, at work, and at the bridge table.
After retirement, Barbara relocated to Nashville to be near her sons and their families which she loved so very much. Barbara was so proud of her two sons and commented many times throughout her life what wonderful men they had grown up to be. Her three grandchildren—Anabella, Preston and Daniella—were the pride and joy of her life, and she was so sure to attend all their activities and special occasions; she glowed in her interactions with them. Known as “Mom-Mom,” she was a wonderful grandmother who will be greatly missed.
Barbara was a lifelong and dedicated member of the Church of Christ attending Waverly, Jackson, and Bellevue churches when she lived in those locations. In her later years, she was particularly interested in, and devoted to, Bible study. Before her death, Barbara was secure in knowing that, as a lifelong devoted Christian who had accepted Christ as her savior, she would inherit everlasting life.
Visitation for Barbara will take place on Thursday, February 9th, 2023, from 4:00p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Luff-Bowen Funeral Home. The funeral will be held on Friday, February 10th , at 12:00 p.m. in Luff-Bowen’s sanctuary with visitation at 11 a.m. prior to the service at 12 p.m. Burial will be at McKeel Cemetery, Cuba Landing, Tennessee. Minister Tony Roberts will officate the service. Pallbearers will be Kevin Pace, Derek Pace, Ron Pace, Nick Rubadeau, Preston Pace, Bob Thomason.