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Obituary- J.T. Nelms

James Thurman “J.T.” Nelms


Mr. James Thurman Nelms, age 84, of College Grove, passed away Sunday, April 8, 2007 at Williamson Medical Center. 


Mr. Nelms was the son of the late James Robert and Jessie Ruth Womack Nelms.  He was a member of the Brenthaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  Nelms was the former president of the TWHBEA and former president of the Tennessee Colt Show Association. Nelms was also a Celebration colt judge at the 1969 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.


He is survived by his loving wife of 60 ½ years, Martha Nelson Nelms, son Bob (Becky) Nelms of College Grove, daughter Cindy Nelms (Mike) Dill of Franklin, TN, brothers, Lewis R (Marilyn) Nelms of Shelbyville, and Robert Doyle Nelms of Texas, grandchildren Dawn Dill of Kentucky, Robert (Amanda) Nelms of Chapel Hill, and Jesse (Megan) Nelms of Chapel Hill, great-grandchildren, Kayrin Warren, Riley Nelms, and Peyton Nelms of Chapel Hill. 


Funeral services were held Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at Williamson Memorial and burial services followed at Old Orchard Cemetery in Petersburg. 


Serving as pallbearers were grandsons, Robert Nelms and Jesse Nelms, Rooster White, Erik Hale, Chip Hood, Richard Floyd, Shane Conn, and Josh Jones. Honorary Pallbears included Grady Osborne, Bobby Rader, Roy Brooks, Bobby Raby, Sammy Woodward, Paul Hazlett, Dr. Randy Baker, Forrest King, Brad Ray, Jim Mosley, and Ronald Morton.


Mr. Nelms has loved horses and been involved with them his whole life.  At the mere age of five, he rode his horse to the Petersburg horseshow and won his first blue ribbon in 1928.   He and his brother, Paul began showing mule colts at a very young age.  They both ended up falling in love with the Tennessee Walking Horse.  He loved to watch his children and grandchildren in the show ring.  He bought all three of his grandchildren their first horse.  As long as he was able, you could look up at the horseshows and see Mr. J.T. and Mrs. Martha there to watch them show.  On pretty days, you could count on finding him at the barn watching his grandson, Robert working colts giving him advice and telling stories of how it used to be.  He loved just being at the barn and around his family.


He owned, raised and bred many great horses in his time.   Some of these horses include “Go Boys Silver Queen”, which brought his first World Championship, “Sun’s Masterpiece”, who he bred,  “Go Boys Gypsy Rose”, who was ridden by both his children Bob and Cindy, and “Go Boys Dancer”.  One of the highlights of raising such quality colts was in 2005 watching his grandson, Robert walk under the spotlight at the Celebration to the blue ribbon with “Stormy’s Silky Sue” for the weanling World Grand Championship. The pride he felt that night was indescribable.


A few more horses that Mr. Nelms has played a part in were “Jose’s Solitaire” and  “Enrique Enrique” that he raised and “Grandy’s Summer Love”, “A Windstorm”, and “Stormcutter” that he owed and have won many blue ribbons.


There are many people in the horse world that could tell stories on Mr. J.T.  He has been a part of this industry for so many years.  Saying we will miss him just doesn’t say enough.     

Martha and the late J.T. Nelms

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