Floral 15

Marjorie Ruth (Hillebrand) Nunnelly

March 1, 1929 ~ September 11, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old


Marjorie Hillebrand Nunnelly passed away peacefully on September 11, 2023.

She was born on March 1, 1929 on her parents' farm in New Florence, MO. She was the oldest child of Walter and Clara Hillebrand and the big sister of Marion and Dollie Mae Hillebrand. As a child she and her younger siblings rode to school from their farm home on a horse named Miss Daisy. It was in these early childhood days on the Central Missouri family farm that Marge developed her lifelong love of animals, gardening and Missouri's natural wonders. Marge was active in the First Presbyterian Church of New Florence where she taught Sunday School during her highschool years. She knew tragedy at the young age of 10 in 1939 when her 7-year old little sister Dollie Mae died right before Christmas of pneumonia in a St. Louis Hospital.

Her parents moved to a large home in Montgomery City during her high school years so that she and her brother Marion would not have to ride the school bus from the farm. Her home between Dutchtown and Whitewater still has the beautiful full-length mirror that her mother had hung in the entrance hall of their Montgomery City home where she primped before heading out the door in high school. That mirror hung in her home in
Cape Girardeau County and narrowly escaped burning in a fire in 2018 that destroyed most of the home she and her husband Dr. Gordon Nunnelly had built in 1978. Robert Hinkebein of Chaffee, who helped the Nunnelly's restore their home after the fire, surprised her on her 93rd birthday in 2022 by presenting her with the fully restored mirror, which he rehung in her living room.

Marge was a good student and an accomplished athlete competing on the women's high school basketball team. She was also the drum majorette for the Montgomery City High School Band. She attended Missouri Methodist College in Fayette for one year following high school. Marge went on her first date with Gordon Nunnelly when she was 14 years old.

Following Nunnelly's return from military service in World War II and its aftermath, they were married on August 15, 1948 at the First Presbyterian Church in New Florence, MO. The young couple moved to St. Louis, MO where Gordon Nunnelly was enrolled at Washington University where he completed his undergraduate and medical degrees.

Following Dr. Nunnelly's internship at St. Lukes' Hospital in St. Louis and with their first three children-Barbara, born in 1949, Carol, born in 1952 and Bruce, born in 1953, they moved to 1432 Themis Street in Cape Girardeau.

Dr. Nunnelly started his medical practice in July of 1955. Following the birth of their fourth child, Paul, in 1957, Marge Nunnelly worked as the office manager and receptionist for Dr. Nunnelly's private family medical practice moving from his first office at the Medical Arts Building on Broadway to the butterfly-roof building that Dr. Nunnelly designed and had built at 1924 Broadway in 1958. Dr. Nunnelly's last private office on Sprigg Street was closed in 1989 when Dr. Nunnelly began work as an emergency room physician at Southeast Hospital and later at the Dexter Hospital.

Marge Nunnelly took an active part in the community both with her children and their schools during their childhood years; and as Gordon Nunnelly's main support in projects like the creation of the Doctor's Park and the development of their Cloister Vineyard and
home near Whitewater, MO. The couple was active in the First Presbyterian Church and later founded the Cape Girardeau Unitarian Fellowship where once again, Marge taught Sunday School in the finished basement of their Themis Street home. They also appeared
annually in the Cape Girardeau J.C. Follies. She was the inspiration for Dr. Nunnelly's hobby of making couture clothing for her and the children from beautiful fabric he woven and from couture fabrics they purchased from Winston's in St. Louis. She was his favorite "model" and was featured in a Sunday magazine article on February 16, 1964 in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and on the popular St. Louis KSD-TV Charlotte Peters Show.

An accomplished seamstress, knitter and cook, she always let her husband shine as he mastered clothing design, architecture, tailoring, weaving, cooking, and wine-making.

The couple loved their warm circle of Cape Girardeau friends and enjoyed making beautiful dinners in their home. Her best lifelong friends were Marthalou McGinty and Joan Weeks who were also both married to local physicians. Marge and Joan Weeks shared a tradition of resending each other the same birthday card for over 50 years until Joan's death in 2022.

Marge reveled in the birth, visits, growing up and college graduation of all of her grandchildren always taking time to send special notes and handmade knits to each of them. She celebrated the birth of her beloved great grandchildren including her sixth-- Margo Adler-Schneider (named for Marge and Gordon) in Barcelona Spain in September 2021. Marge took special joy in Margo and her parent's move to Marge's ancestral
Germany in February of this year. She especially loved her garden and nature, and long walks on the woodland trails she cleared in the wooded area of their Cape County property. Following the death of her beloved Gordon in July of 2019, she dedicated her last years to maintaining the home they created in the country where she was lovingly assisted by Jenn Thomas and her husband Gary Justin Fornkahl. Her legacy is her
stewardship of the Missouri land she loved so much and the inspiration and love she shared unselfishly with her loving family who will miss her resilient, nurturing spirit and treasure her memory. May she rest in deep peace.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marjorie Ruth (Hillebrand) Nunnelly, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Marjorie Ruth (Hillebrand) Nunnelly?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Marjorie's memory.


No services to be held

Please note
There will be no services held at this time.


Donor's Charity of Choice


© 2023 McCombs Funeral Home Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility