Nina Faye Ghastin, 88, passed away peacefully on May 28, 2014, at Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation in Frankfort.
Nina was born in Des Arc, Arkansas, to Charles Cyrus Larkin and Adelle (Seymore) Johnson. On December 27, 1991, in Honor, she married Roswell Ghastin. They had 20 great years together,
In the summer of 1941, Nina, with her father and sister, came to Benzie County to pick cherries. By the time that season was over, her father had a job, and, because jobs were scarce in Arkansas, the family moved to Michigan.
Nina's life was far from easy, the oldest of nine children, she mothered her younger siblings and as a teenager experienced the loss of two of them. When she first came to Michigan, she was mocked for her southern accent and eventually quit school. Though she had many hard times, she came through them all with a smile. Over the years, many spoke of on her friendliness and forgiving nature.
Nina was a warm and generous person and never forgot she was from “Punkin Bend.” She was the epitome of southern hospitality, always eager to feed you or put you up for the night. When her brother needed a home for his children, she welcomed and loved them as her own. She was always happy to set an extra plate at the table. Indeed, she was most famous for her cooking, and could make something delicious out of nothing. Many remember fondly her bread, fried chicken and cinnamon rolls.
Nina's greatest joy was to be a mother, that is, until the grandbabies started to come. She was thrilled to become a grandma and with each new grandchild she was equally excited. When the dear grandchildren grew up and started having their own babies, she continued to enjoy each and every one as they came.
Nina always worked, cooking (and waitressing) in restaurants, at the hospital, senior center, etc. She also cared for the developmentally disabled, and at the age of 18 she went to Washington, D.C. with a local family as their nanny.She loved people and enjoyed being with them and talking to them. She often used her favorite phrase, “Bless your little heart.” Able to cook and talk, her kitchen became a gathering place for many.
Surviving are her daughters, Bev Kohn, Linda (Greg) Dalman, Kathy (Terry) McArthur, Pattie Rodebush and daughter-in-law Bev Rockwell, grandchildren Brian, Lara, Dawn, Scott, Rhonda, Buffy, Greg, Missy, Lisa. Chris, Tim, Nathan, Shelly, and Buffy, 43 great-grandchildren one great-great-grandchild. brothers Jim (Olga) Johnson and Don Johnson.
Those who preceded her in death besides her parents were husbands, Wesley Freeland and Roswell Ghastin, son Loyde (Bud) Rockwell, grandsons Aaron Fay and Chris Kerby, sons-in-laws Jim Carmien, Larry Kohn, and Jerry Rodebush, sisters Charlene Kortokrax, Ruth Maginity, Betz Paupore, Shirley Johnson, brothers Howard and Bernice Johnson.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:30 PM, Sunday, June 8, 2014, at the Bennett-Barz Funeral Home, in Beulah, with Pastor Paul Silbor officiating. Interment will follow in the Benzonia Township Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 1:30 PM until time of services at the Bennett-Barz Funeral Home.
The Bennett-Barz Funeral Home, in Beulah, is in charge of arrangements.