Onancock resident Nell G. Thomas passed to heaven peacefully, on May 19, 2018, surrounded by loved ones in her home.
Nell was born in Mississippi on April 10, 1926, to William Ernest and Jewel B. Garland. She was one of three daughters.
Nell graduated from Crystal Springs Consolidated School and attended Millsaps College in Jackson, MS for 2 years before marrying Harry C. Thomas on November 8, 1946.
Nell and Harry lived in both Homestead, FL and the Eastern Shore of VA throughout their marriage, with Nell choosing to settle year-round in Onancock shortly following her husband’s death in 1997.
Nell was a mezzo-soprano, well known for her beautiful, professionally trained voice. In addition to sharing her gift in church, weddings, and other music programs throughout her life, Nell also toured with the Millsaps Singers; was a professional singer in the Miami Metropolitan Opera Guild of Greater Miami, which was a grand honor; served as President for the Homestead Community Concert Association; and was Counselor to the MacDowell Music Club in Homestead, FL.
Nell’s daughters write: “Mom’s devotion to us through the years was invaluable. She had the talent to go further in her musical career yet sacrificed her dreams to be there for us day to day. She was greatly appreciated, a wonderful mother, and will be missed by all who knew her.”
Nell is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Jewel & Bill Magee of Blowing Rock NC; Dorothy Nell Thomas of Onancock VA; Anita & Joe Leitch of Haines AK & Folkston GA; and Christie & Fred Escalona of Folkston GA. Nell had 5 grandchildren: Elizabeth Magee Bennett (Jason), Harry Sheaffer, Caroline Magee Jensen (Eric), Billy Magee (Elizabeth), & Anita Escalona. 3 great-grandchildren, Austin Sheaffer, Darcy Magee, & Walker Magee, along with numerous nephews & nieces and great nephews & nieces. Additionally, Nell is survived by her loving & loyal ‘companion family’, with her current long time ‘family’ being Lokisha Boggs, Renee Crockett, Reny Taylor, and Helen Ayers, as well as others, both current and preceding, who remain part of our extended ‘family’; along with Avon Garrison, who has been part of the family for over 50 years. Among others, Nell was predeceased by her husband, Harry C Thomas, her grandson Harry Sheaffer, and her sisters Jerry Lamar and June Brent.
Funeral services will be conducted from the chapel of the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., with The Reverend Robert Fletcher officiating. There will be a visitation at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Nell will be interred next to her husband and other family members in Crystal Springs. MS. Graveside services will be 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at Crystal Springs Cemetery. Stringer Family Funeral Home in Crystal Springs is handling arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to one of the following: Thomas Caregiver Education Fund, to enable some of Nell’s devoted caregivers to further their education (non-deductible, 24326 Finney Dr, Onancock VA 23417); Hermitage on the Eastern Shore/Employee Christmas Fund, to benefit those who served Mom (23610 North St, Onancock, VA 23417); Riverside Hospice/Camp Fragile Hearts which will be earmarked for the Youth Bereavement Camp (25379 Lankford Hwy, Onley, VA 23418).