Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


May 13, 2014

Murlene Sides

CROSSVILLE — March 19, 1932—May 9, 2014

Murlene Drake Sides, 82, passed away May 8, 2014, in Huntsville, AL. 

She was born in Rutherford County, TN, on March 19, 1932, to Loretta Goodman Drake and William Frealeon Drake. She graduated as a registered nurse from St. Thomas School of Nursing, completed her nursing degree at Peabody College in Nashville, and received a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Southern California. 

In 1954, Murlene married James W. Sides, USAF. Their Air Force life took them all over the world. Murlene gave birth to their only child, LuAnne, while living on the island of Crete. She served as director of Public Health Nursing for the state of Alabama, president of the Alabama State Nurses Association and director of the Division of Long Term Care of the Alabama Department of Public Health. She was the first recipient of the “Ira L. Myers Award for Excellence,” which recognizes an individual, group or organization that, through excellence in their work, has made a significant impact on public health in Alabama. Colleagues noted that “Murlene has been a major force in developing and implementing standards of care for Alabama’s public health nurses.”

Murlene and Jim retired to Fairfield Glade where she was an avid reader, gardener and an active member of Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church.  In 2012, Murlene and Jim moved to Huntsville, AL, to be near their daughter and her family. She took great joy in spending time with her son-in-law, John Cannaday, and her four grandchildren. Murlene also thoroughly enjoyed her church family at Owens Cross Roads Church of Christ.

Murlene is survived by her husband, Jim Sides; her daughter and son-in-law, LuAnne and John Cannaday; grandchildren, Daniel, Patt, Kara Drake and Eli; and siblings, Maxine Drake, Annette Dooley and Bill Drake.

A memorial service will be held at Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church Thursday, May 15, at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Project Abundant Life,, a non-profit ministry that supports single mothers in a way that does not promote dependency, but rather equips women financially and relationally for successful independence.

Laughlin Service Funeral Home,, is in charge of arrangements.

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