Juanita Elise “Nita” Story, 92, died Sunday, February 9, 2020, in Springdale. She was born January 18, 1928, in Manchester, Georgia, to Arthur Hodges and Pearl Mae Collier Nesmith. Nita was the youngest of five siblings. She spent her early years in Manchester until attending Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville, Georgia. She taught school until her marriage in 1955 to Captain Robert P. Story. Nita spent her young adult married years a devoted military wife where she lived in many different places including Zama, Japan, where she was active in establishing Protestant churches and even experienced climbing Mt. Fuji! Nita and Robert also spent time in North Carolina where she served as President of the Officers Wives Club on base at Fort Bragg. The next move was to the D.C. area where Robert served at the Pentagon and Nita was the president of the PTA at the local elementary school. During the Cold War the couple then moved to Berlin, Germany, where Nita was president of the Berlin Infantry Brigade Officers’ Wives Club. Her main focus was in helping hospitals with children afflicted with Thalidomide. While stationed in Berlin Nita traveled to various European countries and even into Russia-occupied East Germany. One of her most memorable experiences was witnessing the changing of the guard with Russia at the Spandau prison where Rudolph Hess was incarcerated. Nita then moved back to Georgia while Robert served in the Vietnam War and eventually returned to D.C. where Robert again worked for the Pentagon while stationed at Fort Belvoir. Upon retirement from the military the couple made their way to Harrison, Arkansas, where Nita served the community by supporting women’s domestic abuse victims’ safe houses. She also taught 3rd grade for 10 years. Nita was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Springdale and attended the Builders Class Sunday School. She also served 28 years for The Bread of Life from its beginning in 1992. She was an active member of United Methodist Women and P.E.O.
Nita is survived by one daughter, Susan Abram and husband Julian; one son, Robert P. Story Jr; three grandchildren, Kelly McCauley, Natalie K. Abram, Nicole L. Abram, and; one grandson, Gabriel Soto-Story; one brother, George Collier-Nesmith; and many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be 10 a.m. Monday, February 17, at Fayetteville National Cemetery followed by a meal at First United Methodist Church and a memorial service beginning at 1 p.m. at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bread of Life Church Foundation c/o First United Methodist Church 206 W. Johnson Ave Springdale, the Springdale Senior Citizens Center at 203 Park Street in Springdale, and Circle of Life Hospice at 901 Jones Rd, Springdale.