Thursday, September 3, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Vicksburg Historical Society
P.O. box 103
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A longtime resident of the community she loved, Nina Cripps was a blessing to everyone she met. Upon spending only a few moments with her, it was easy to see that her life was rooted in something different, something deeper, and that something was her faith. Nina lived to serve others, whether her family, students, fellow church members, or others in the Schoolcraft and Vicksburg area. She was more than willing to help in ways both great and small. A more devoted wife and mother would be hard to find, and she was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother later in life. The sort of person who never met a stranger, Nina was patient, loving, and kindhearted with a warmth that drew others near with ease. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.
Life was anything but easy during the 1930s since the Great Depression covered our nation and much of the world like a wet blanket throughout the entire decade. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and things only went from bad to worse when a crippling drought covered our nation’s heartland for nearly two years. Despite the challenges around them, Willard and Esta (Inman) Armstrong were able to shift their focus on an exciting time in their own lives as they announced the birth of their healthy baby girl on September 7, 1935, in Boon, Michigan. Nina was the third of five children and was raised in the family home alongside her older brothers, Nick and David, and her younger siblings, Nancy and Ned. To support the Armstrong family, her father worked as an iron worker while her mother was a busy homemaker.
In many ways, Nina was a typical girl of her generation. One thing that made their family unique, however, was that from the time she was born until her teenager years they moved a total of 9 times. This was in part to her father working hard for the family and needing to be closer to where he was working. They did settle in Edwardsburg, and she graduated from Edwardsburg High School in 1953. During this time Nina was also in band and dance. After high school she went on to Western Michigan University where she received her teaching degree.
Not to be forgotten during her years at WMU was Nina’s introduction to the young man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Robert Cripps, and they met at the school library early on. Sparks flew right from the start, and they began dating. Before either of them knew what happened, they found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Nina and Rob were married on December 22, 1957, at the Congregational church in Athens. After their wedding Nina taught school for a short time in the same districts as Robert in the Grandeville and Vicksburg schools. She then went to work for Schoolcraft schools where she taught for almost 30 years.
Over time, Robert and Nina welcomed three beautiful daughters into their hearts and home including Lisa in 1961, Laura in 1964, and Shannon in 1966. Together they enjoyed camping as a family, and wherever they were going, Nina was the navigator who always had the map in hand. One thing her family certainly appreciated was her amazing cooking skills as everything she made was fantastic. Among the family favorites were her potato salad, and although she wasn’t fancy in what she made, everything was always good. In fact, it has been said that she could make chipped beef on toast taste fantastic!
Always one to be busy, Nina was a woman of many interests. She was a longtime, dedicated, and active member of the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Nina just retired from the bell choir there this past year, and she was also part of the funeral luncheons for years.
Nina was active with the Vicksburg Lions Club, and she was also a sorority sister of Alpha Delta Kappa. Nina liked sewing, doing crossword puzzles, and listening to WMUK and NPR. After their children were older, she and Rob did quite a bit of traveling. She enjoyed spending time with family, and for years she loved visiting with Rob’s sister, Carol.
In 2008, Nina was deeply saddened with the death of her beloved husband, Rob. She relied on her faith to guide her through this very difficult time. She treasured her Bible, and her favorite verse was John 3:16, which speaks of God’s abundant love for her. She was content in whatever life brought, and she equally embraced both the peaks and the valleys along her life’s journey.
All who knew Nina Cripps would agree that she was an extraordinary woman to know and love. Nina was hardworking and passionate about the things that interested her, especially where matters of her faith were concerned. An amazing wife and mother and doting grandmother, her family is a testament to the loving and devoted family woman that she was each and every day. Nina will never be forgotten.
Nina Cripps, of Vicksburg, died on Saturday, August 29, 2015. Nina’s family includes her three children: Lisa (Tadd) Godfrey, of Alma, Laura (Mike) Asher, of Vicksburg, and Shannon (Steve) Lord, of Alma; five grandchildren: Hilary and Caleb Asher and Tess, Bonnie, and Charlie Lord; siblings: Nick (Barb) Armstrong, of Granger, IN; Nancy (Roger) Blankenship, of Winder, GA; Ned (Carolyn) Armstrong, of Midlothian, VA her sister-in-law, Carol Ann Cripps of Athens. Nina was preceded in death by her husband, Robert in 2008 and brother, David in 1937. Nina’s family will receive friends on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Vicksburg, 409 S. Main Street (269-649-1697). Funeral services will be held on Friday 11a.m., at the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Please visit Nina’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign her guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make a contribution at to Vicksburg United Methodist Church and/or Vicksburg Historical Society.