Thursday, July 24, 2014

Aunt Nell by Terry Burns

If I may take a moment of personal privilege:

I'm sorry to report on the passing of my Aunt Nell (Thomas). The picture shows her with her two remaining siblings at the time, my mother on the left who has already gone on, my Aunt Meta (Graves) and Aunt Nell on the right. In later years she started going by Dorothy, but she was always Aunt Nell to us.

She was like a second mother to me growing up and for much of my life would tend to be the relative living closest to me. I moved a lot when I was doing chamber of commerce work and with her husband, my Uncle Charley, working for an oil company they did too. We tended (and not on purpose) to end up in towns near to each other. Amazing how that happened. For all of my youth we all lived together in Pampa, Texas.

They had a large family, and there were ten kids, Edgar. Alma, Leola, Mom, Ray, Nell, Meta and Billie Bob. Two died as an infant, one before and one after my mom. Holidays were always spent at Mamaw Tunnell's house, it was mandatory, and to this day that is some of my fondest memories.

I was the oldest of the "kids," and it is a shock for me to realize that I am the oldest male in the family, the second oldest period. I still think of myself as one of the kids.

She died at the age of 94 July 23rd in Nashville, Tennessee.She was born February 18, 1920 in Electra, Texas. She was an active member of First Baptist Church, Mount Juliet, Tennessee and formerly an active member of Central Baptist Church, Pampa, Texas. She was a tireless leader in the Women’s Missionary Union in Pampa. Dorothy was well known throughout her life for her parties, programs, and creative presentations in service to her church and community.

She was preceded in death by her husband Charley Thomas, all but one of her sisters and brothers, and one granddaughter Becky Porter.

She is survived by two daughters, Mikey Oldham of Mount Juliet, and Suzie Porter of Layton, UT. She is also survived by four granddaughters: Anna Oldham of Mount Juliet; Jenny Chandler of Carson City, NV; Debbie Porter (a missionary in the Middle East), and Mandy Porter (a missionary in the Far East); and two great-grandchildren: Emily Chandler and Stephen Chandler of Carson City, Nev. She is also survived by a sister: Meta Graves of Electra, Texas.

Visitation will be from 12:45 PM Saturday, July 26, 2014 until service time at Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Home in Pampa. Services will be at 2:00 PM Saturday, at Carmichael-Whatley Colonial Chapel in Pampa, with Rev. Rick Parnell, associate pastor of Central Baptist Church of Pampa, officiating. Burial will follow in Memory Gardens Cemetery in Pampa, under the direction of Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Directors. A memorial service will be at 2:00 PM Thursday, July 31, 2014, at Bond Memorial Chapel in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

We will miss her very much but we rejoice in the homecoming that we know she is having with those family members who have gone on.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the International Mission Board’s Lottie Moon Offering or to the First Baptist Church of Mount Juliet Building Fund.


Audrey said...

Thanks for sharing this personal look into your life. Your Aunt Aunt of the many in the cloud of witnesses in our lives. God bless your memories!

Diana Flegal said...

Precious memories and photo. Thank you for sharing this with us Terry. My sympathies and prayers are with you all.