Alta Mae Tinsley, 97 years, 10 months, and 13 days, of rural Mt. Vernon, passed away at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at her home, where she was able to remain for the past three years with the help of her family and caregivers Becky, Pam, Ruth Ann, Carol, Darla, and Maria.
She was born July 16, 1915, in Jefferson County, the daughter of George and Nellie Correll. Her mother passed away when she was two-years-old, so she was raised by her father and stepmother, Dona Correll. She married Earl Tinsley in Dix, on March 19, 1932, and he preceded her in death in September 1995.
For over 70 years, until unable to attend due to failing health, she taught the children’s Sunday school classes and Bible school, provided janitorial services and also played the piano at New Hope “Webb” Missionary Baptist Church, where she was a member.
She has been a pillar of the community her entire life, better known as “Grandma” not only to her family, but to the entire community. She was a homemaker, babysitter, and opened her home to anyone who needed care or food. For many, many years, she cooked large Sunday dinners — all before Church Time — for not only her family but for anyone who wanted to stop by and eat.
People were always welcome in her home, and she would find you something to drink and eat regardless of the time of day. She was an avid gardener and planted huge gardens each year, giving away vegetables to all the neighbors. She will be sadly missed by all who loved her.
She is survived by one son, Jim Tinsley of Mt. Vernon; two daughters, Wilma McMahan and husband Louis of Tempe, Ariz., and Nellie Mellott and husband Bill of Mt. Vernon; two daughters-in-law, Ruby Tinsley of Mt. Vernon and Judy Tinsley of Woodlawn; 11 grandchildren, Brenda Lawson and husband Jeff, Amy Tinsley, Bryan Tinsley, Michael Ray Hawkins, Debra Margraf and husband Michael, Billy Mellott and wife Donna, Jeanie Muscolino and husband John, David Mellott and wife Nikki, Jim Tom Mellott and wife Jan, Vicki Lynn Tinsley and special friend Brett, and Robbie Tinsley and wife Gina; 27 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Norma Jean Barr and husband Bud of Mt. Vernon; one sister-in-law, Dorothy Tinsley of Dix; several nieces and nephews; and special extended families, Larry and Phyllis Jones and Bill and Mary Ann Smith.
In addition to her husband Earl, she was preceded in death by two sons, Kenneth and George Tinsley; four sisters, Edna Tate, Edith Correll, Opal Payne and Wilhelmine Beal; several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Osborn Funeral Home in Dix, with Brother. Alan Smith and Brother. Rick Hill officiating. Burial will follow at Ebenezer Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on today at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Ebenezer Cemetery or to New Hope “Webb” Church, and will be received at the funeral home, or can be mailed to the Osborn Funeral Home, P.O. Box 130, Dix, IL 62830. Online obituary and condolences may be found at www.osbornfuneralhomeinc.com.