LUBBOCK — Norma Jean Appling, 89, of Lubbock, Texas, passed away on September 2, 2021. She was born October 16, 1931, in Seminole, Oklahoma to Luther Dale and Ruth Ballah. After graduating from Sandoval Community High School, she attended three years of nursing school in St. Louis, Missouri. Afterward, Jean worked several nursing assignments in various states which moved her to Lubbock, Texas, to work at then Methodist Hospital. She attended University Baptist Church where she met her future husband, Joe Robert Appling. They married on April 25, 1960, in Hobbs, New Mexico, and eventually raised three children: David, Mark and Robbye.
Jean’s greatest desire was to serve the Lord by raising her family and ministering to people through her nursing career. She always said “nursing was like going to church”—it was her passion. As a result, she spent 50 years nursing primarily in Crosbyton and Floydada, Texas hospitals and nursing homes, and later as a home health nurse. She also administered the state test for certified nurse aides. Jean was also very involved in the community, known for her cooking, involvement in the amphitheater production of “God’s Country” in the Mt. Blanco canyon, coordinating county fairs and blood drives, as well as fundraising to erect the Crosby County War Memorial. She was a faithful member of First Baptist Church in Floydada for most of her life until she and Joe moved to Raider Ranch retirement community in Lubbock in 2015.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; her parents; sister, Beulah; and, brothers, Paul and Bill. Those left behind to cherish her memory are sons David of Mt. Blanco and Mark (wife, Cindee) of the Big 4 community; daughter, Robbye of Lubbock; sisters Helen Carney (husband, Charles) of Lubbock, TX, Margaret Maddux (husband, Eddie) of Waco, TX and Betty Tillman (husband, Bobby) of Sachse, TX; six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and, three sisters-in-law, Catherine Miller, Catherine Ballah and Doris Ballah.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 5, 2021, from 2-4 p.m. at Moore-Rose Funeral Home in Floydada, TX. Celebration of life services will be held on Monday, September 6, 2021, at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Crosbyton (chapel). Interment will be at Lakeview Cemetery on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, under the direction of Moore-Rose Funeral Home.
Because of her love of missions and nursing, the family suggests a donation to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (send to: Southcrest Baptist Church, 3801 S. Loop 289, Lubbock, TX 79423) and/or a donation of money or blood to your local blood bank in her honor.