Melva Lynn Matlock Stricklin passed away at home in Old Hickory on May 14, 2022, at the age of 75 years.
Melva’s death was a result of liver cancer, which she fought for only seven weeks.
Melva was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and grew up in South Fulton. She graduated from South Fulton High School and graduated from the University of Tennesse at Martin (with a bachelor’s and master’s degree) and Tennessee State University (with an education specialist degree).
After graduation, Melva began her 33-year education career as a teacher at South Fulton Middle School in South Fulton. From there, she taught at Grassland Middle School in Franklin, where she was awarded teacher of the year in 2002.
She moved into administration and became the assistant principal at Fairview Middle School. Melva ended her career as principal at Stanford Montessori School in Nashville, where her school received the Value Added Achievement Award in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Melva was named elementary principal of the year for Middle Tennessee in 2013.
However, her biggest life accomplishment was being the very best grandmother and great-grandmother.
Melva was active in the prison ministry at her church, Hermitage Church of the Nazarene; CBS Bible study; and Rest Stop Ministries.
She also enjoyed gardening, reading, travel, shopping, and her Welsh Corgi, Finn.
She was loved by her family, her students, her teachers, her neighbors, and others in the community.
She loved teaching and was deeply concerned with the lives of children.
Her favorite holidays were Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, when she would make sure her family was together and enjoying all of her favorite recipes.
Melva was an active participant at every event for her grandchildren that she could possibly attend.
In addition to her parents — Melvin and Hallean Thomasson Matlock — Melva was preceded in death by: her sister, Eddie Huey; her brother, Melvin Matlock, Jr.
She is survived by: her husband, William Joseph Stricklin of Old Hickory; her children, Stephanie (Craig) Cochran of Alamo, Natalie (Randy) Wroten of Tullahoma, Colin (Amy) Cooke of Brentwood; stepchildren, Alix Stricklin of Old Hickory, David (Tracy) Stricklin of Smyrna, Camille (Steve) Kendall of Troy, Suzanne (Leonard) Walther of Bowling Green, Kentucky; as well as 22 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Vivian Bullen of Mt. Juliet, and her brother, David Matlock of Nashville.
Melva’s faith was strong even amidst her diagnosis and prognosis. She was at peace with where she was going.
We are confident that Jesus welcomed Melva with open arms and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). We are all at peace knowing that she is now resting in the arms of our Savior and rejoicing with all who have gone before her.
The family would like to express special thanks to Alive Hospice and all of her caregivers who showed great love and compassion for Melva in her final illness.
Family and friends will gather for a graveside service at New Ebenezer Cemetery, located at 1630 Ebenezer Road in Troy, where her ashes will be interred in the Stricklin family plot.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.tristarcremation.com/listings.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Rest Stop Ministries (https://reststopministries.org), the Hermitage Church of the Nazarene prison ministry (www.hermitagechurch.org), Alive Hospice (www.alivehospice.org), or the children’s program of one’s choice.