Skip to content

Petreva “Pat” Nunley Hargiss

Petreva “Pat” Frances (Nunley) Hargiss died Saturday, July 16, 2022. 

Ever the epitome of a Southern lady, she leaves teachings of class, dignity, and caring behind in the family that she stood as matriarch for. Few have been made like her and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

She was born in Tennessee on June 21, 1942, third of six children (Ruth Kirk, Matilee Braden, Opal Haley, Leslie Nunley, and Mary Baugher), to Till and Beulah Nunley. She grew up on South Pittsburg Mountain where she eventually met Francis Eugene (Gene) Hargiss. No matter how far away his life took him, or for how long, the candle she carried for him burned bright and steady. When he returned from the military in 1958, they wasted no time and were married October 11 of that year. They threw everything they owned in the back of their classic car and took off out West to begin their life together. 

Here Pat flourished and grew into the woman everyone loved. In an era of lavish dinner parties and cocktail events she bloomed. She was known for her kindness, generosity, and good-spirited demeanor. Pat was a force to be reckoned with. In fact, don’t ignore her while reading the paper, she might just light it on fire with her cigarette lighter. 

In 1960, on a trip home to Tennessee, she changed the world for not just one person, as she thought at the time, but created a multi-generational legacy. When Pat and Gene returned out West, they took her little sister, Mary Elizabeth, with them. Being “parents” did not slow down their life, it just made it richer. They took her on all their adventures, provided for her, and took joy in her life with them. 

In 1975, her adventures continued transcontinental. She moved to Indonesia with her husband, Gene, for the company he was with at the time, Peter Bawden Drilling, Inc. in Houston/California, as the vice president/general manager. She told fascinating stories of her time there. Even though it was an amazing time in her life and many of her cherished memories came from the people and places she experienced, she was happy to come home. 

All through her exciting and whirlwind life, her love of animals was constantly at the forefront. She loved and cherished smaller creatures, and even carried her little poodle from California all the way to Indonesia and back. He, at times, even traveled via his own limousine. It is no surprise then that “retired” life to her and her husband meant a farm in Dunlap, Tennessee. Here, Pat had all the animals that she could ever want and was closer to Mary and her children, who had also moved back to the area. She grew beautiful roses, vegetable gardens (a ridiculous amount of corn), various fruits (some of which became spirits), and a few chickens. She cared for her family and animals and proved she was just as comfortable bottle feeding a calf while wearing rubber boots as she was entertaining guests wearing an evening gown. 

No one ever went hungry on the Hargiss farm. She created sanctuary and peace for her family. She served her community, set the standard for old-school manners, and never failed to make a friend. Her depth of honesty is unsurpassed and her ability to do the right thing is unmatched. Never failing her family, she always came through. Pat was always thrilled when one of them came to visit; there was always a bed for them on the Hargiss Farm. There was always a place that was central to all in their hearts, and it was created by her. 

Pat is survived by her four honorary grandchildren (Mary’s children), Petreva (Dean) Hobbs, Charla (Joe) Torczon, Joshua (Callista) Baugher, and Samantha (Phil) Johnson; her cherished sisters, Ruth Kirk and Opal Haley. Twelve honorary great-grandchildren, Christy, Jennifer, David, Derik, Alexi, Tayler, Kavan, Colby, Madison, William, Harper, and Rylee. She is also survived by a wealth of nieces, nephews, and cousins, whom she loved. 

Pat was preceded in death by her husband, Gene Hargiss; her honorary daughter and sister, Mary Baugher; her parents, Till and Beulah Nunley; her sister, Matilee Braden; and her brother, Leslie Nunley. 

Funeral services were held Monday, July 25 in the funeral home chapel with Pastor Calvin Nunley officiating. Burial was in Cumberland View Cemetery in Kimball. 

Pallbearers were Joseph Baugher, Joshua Baugher, Dean Hobbs, David Hobbs and Colby Hobbs.

Arrangements entrusted to Rogers Funeral Home in Jasper.

Leave a Comment