Florence Shelby Worsham Tabeling

florence shelby tabeling
Florence Shelby Worsham Tabeling passed away February 10, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. She is survived by her husband, Robert William Tabeling, Jr.; three sons, Jonathan Shelby Tabeling, Robert McDowell Tabeling (Kelly), and Christopher Cantrill Tabeling (Courtney); three granddaughters, Mary Claire, Campbell Anne, and Sadie Tucker Tabeling; a brother, John Cook Worsham, Jr. (Barbara) and a niece, Sarah Shelby Worsham Culver (Ron) and great nephews, Evan Allen and Ethan Cook Culver. She was predeceased by her parents, John Cook Worsham, Jr. and Margaret Shelby Cantrill Worsham. Born in Glasgow, Kentucky, Flo Shelby was always proud of her family ancestry. Through her maternal grandmother, Florence McDowell Shelby Cantrill (“Gran”), Flo Shelby was a descendant of many eminent Kentuckians including Isaac Shelby (Kentucky’s first governor), Dr. Ephraim McDowell, (pioneer surgeon), Daniel Bryan (Waveland builder), and Daniel Boone (by marriage). Gran was the first female Lexington City Commissioner. Her daughter, Margaret Shelby Cantrill Worsham (Flo Shelby’s mother), served as the Assistant Director of UK Student Center for 20 years and was honored in 1982 when the Worsham Theater was named for her. The influence of these ladies played a significant part in Flo Shelby’s life, including defending the dignity of all human beings. She remained highly focused on community, state, national/international affairs throughout her life and understood the vital role that women play in this world. Flo Shelby graduated from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, KY, and the University of Kentucky where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Involved in many commendable activities and hobbies, she savored each day of life. She appreciated and supported the arts, loved to travel, garden, and was a voracious reader. And truly, she was a lover of her Lord, her family, and mankind. She knew she was lifted up in prayer by many family members and friends during the last years of her life, and the pride and adoration that she had for her family was unsurpassed. She and Bill, married for over 50 years, built their lives around their three sons and their families. Even through the arduous last years of her life, her husband was there for her with an undying commitment of loyalty and love. That never changed. Having him, their sons and wives, and the precious granddaughters there during her health challenges was uplifting and inspirational to her. Undaunted during this time because of their devotion and God’s support, she persevered. That was who she was. Mere words cannot convey the astounding marvel of life, the lighthearted humor, and the touching empathy that Flo Shelby shared with the world. Always quick to laugh, offer meaningful advice and lift the spirits of others, she poured her compassion and strength into the weak, who needed it most. A genuine lover of mankind, she fought for those without the power or resources to fight for themselves, encouraged others to embellish their God-given talents and stood by them with fortitude and heartfelt blessings. Her incomparable, stupendous spirit is a legacy to all who knew and loved her. The family will receive friends for visitation at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 6501 Pennywell Dr, Nashville, TN 37205, at 11:00am – 1:00pm on Saturday, February 18. A service celebrating her life will immediately follow. If desired, friends may make donations to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens in memory of Florence Shelby Tabeling @ https://cheekwood.org/support/give/tribute-memorial-gifts/ Arrangements in the care of Compassion Funeral & Cremation Services, Nashville, TN (615) 857-9955. We proudly remain locally owned and operated.

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  1. I had not seen Flo in years but her mother and mine were friends which brought us together as friends. We also attended high school together. She was always gracious and kind. She will be missed. Prayers for her family. May she rest in peace. Rosemary White Parks

  2. Sending love and peace to you as you process your loss and remember the joy she brought to your lives.

    A Memorial Tree was planted in memory of Florence Shelby Worsham Tabeling
  3. I have added pictures from our first grade, second grade and fourth grade together. I have fond memories of our early childhood school years together. Paulette Witty Wasylycia Glasgow, Ky

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