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Nuel was born Feb. 25, 1931 at Grabeel, Mo., to Jasper David and Faye Nova (Piland) Thomas. He attended elementary school at Grabeel School and graduated Gainesville High School in 1947 at the age of 16.
Nuel and Fae Piland were married Aug. 4, 1951 at Mountain Home, Ark. To this union three children were born, Darrel Dean Thomas, Anita Donley, and Treva Warrick.
Nuel accepted Christ as his Savior and was baptized at Mt. Lebanon in 1949. He was a member of the Romance General Baptist Church at Romance, Mo. Nuel and Fae loved to sing gospel songs and traveled to many churches to sing. Nuel played his guitar for congregational singing at Romance Church.
His many hobbies included playing baseball on Sunday afternoons with area teams. The summer Sundays were spent at church on Sunday morning and then off to play baseball in the afternoon. Nuel loved to play sports as well as watch the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids play basketball and baseball.
Weekend nights were often spent with neighbors playing music and visiting. Nuel and Fae loved to attend the bluegrass festivals in their camper where they would join a large group of bluegrass playing friends. If there was a jam session, he would stay until there was no one left to play. He always looked forward to the Tuesday evening jam sessions in Gainesville.
He also loved fishing and was always the one on the creek bank with the stringer full of white bass. Nuel would love to spend the day fishing with friends or grandsons, and never tired of it.
Nuel provided for his family farming and hauling milk. He started running a can milk route at the age of 17. He later changed to a bulk milk route which he operated until he retired from it at age 62.
Nuel would haul milk during the day, and come home to help Fae with the milk cows, hogs, and the haying.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and one brother, Rayford Thomas, and an infant brother, Harding Thomas.
Nuel is survived by his wife, Fae, of Thornfield; three children, Darrel Dean Thomas, of Monett, Mo., Anita Donley, of Thornfield, Mo., and Treva Warrick, of Gainesville, Mo.; seven grandchildren, Heath, Annette, Jerry, Joe, Kathy, Erin and Clay; 14 great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Naomi (Floy) Gregg, of New London, Texas, and Veda Bingham, of Seymour, Mo.
Services for Nuel will be held March 17 at 2 p.m. at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home in Ava, Mo.
Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. until service time. Burial will be at the Thornfield Cemetery. Services conducted by Rev. Tom Johnson and Rev. James J. Kyle. Serving as pallbearers will be grandsons Heath Thomas, Jerry Donley, Joe Donley, Eric Bearden, Travis McBride, and Clay Warrick.
Online condolences may be made at www.clinkingbeardfuneral home.com.