Cover photo for Alva Atherton's Obituary
1935 Alva 2023

Alva Atherton

December 12, 1935 — November 23, 2023

Alva Atherton was born Alva Claire Nesbitt on December 12, 1935, to Joe Nesbitt and Gladys Pearl Nesbitt. She was born in Marshall, Texas. Her childhood was spent growing up on a dairy farm owned by her parents. She graduated second in her high school graduating class.

Encouraged by her parents who stressed education to all five of their children, Alva went to Panola College in Carthage, Texas where she earned an Associate of the Arts. With this degree, she continued to Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches.

At Stephen F. Austin she met and married Jimmy Gene Hailey of Teneha, Texas. Both completed their Bachelor’s degrees and left for Houston with teaching contracts to Aldine Independent School District.

Alva taught high school Biology for years before obtaining her Master’s Degree from Sam Houston State University. She later became an Assistant Principal and a Special Education Counselor.

Alva traveled frequently later in life, visiting all parts of Europe and the United States. She lived seven years in Africa before returning home to Texas.

Alva is preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Gladys, her husband, Jimmy Hailey, her daughter, Sally Hailey, her grandson, Matthew Daniel McCormick, and her siblings, June Flatt, JoAnn Copeland, and Ray Ben Nesbitt.

Alva is survived by her daughters, Sharon Dian McCormick and Sandra Denise Hailey. She is also survived by her grandchildren, James “Jimmy” Gilbert Cogburn and Sally Denise Cogburn, her sister Bonnie Lois Ferguson, her brother-in-law William Flatt, and numerous other nieces, nephews, loved ones, and friends. She will be dearly missed.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alva Atherton, please visit our flower store.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree