Former Homestead resident, Nell G. Thomas, passed to heaven peacefully, on May 19, 2018, surrounded by loved ones in her Onancock VA 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 50 year 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 son-in-laws, 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, Harry Sheaffer, Caroline Magee Jensen, Billy Magee, & Anita Escalona. 3 great-grandchildren, Austin Sheaffer, Darcy Magee, & Walker Magee, along with numerous nephews & nieces. Additionally, Nell is survived by her loving & loyal ‘companion/caregiver family’ who will remain a part of our extended ‘family’. Among others, Nell was predeceased by her husband, Harry C Thomas, her grandson Harry Sheaffer, and her sisters Jerry Lamar and June Brent. Nell will be interred next to her husband and other family members in Crystal Springs MS.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to one of the following, or the charity of your choice: 1. Thomas Caregiver Education Fund, to enable some of Nell’s devoted caregivers to further their education (non-deductible, 24326 Finney Dr, Onancock VA. 23417) 2. Hermitage of the ES/Employee Christmas Fund, to benefit those who served Mom (23610 North St, Onancock, VA 23417) 3. Riverside Hospice/Camp Fragile Hearts which will be earmarked for the Youth Bereavement Camp (25379 Lankford Hwy, Onley, VA 23418)