Nelwyn Faye Samford


Nelwyn Faye Samford found her peace in the early morning hours of Friday, September 11, 2020, at HomePlace, The Hospice of East Texas. She was the daughter of the late Samuel Berton Samford and Lurline Lemons Samford and was born in Center, Texas, October 9, 1930.

Graveside service will be held at 11 am, Wednesday, September 23, 2020, at New Hope Cemetery in Center with Rev. Stephen Rhoads of Pollard United Methodist Church of Tyler officiating.

Nell graduated with degrees from Stephen F. Austin State College in Nacogdoches and Colorado State College of Education, Greeley, Colorado. Through her teaching career, she taught in Livingston, Humble, Beaumont, Henderson, and the balance of her career at Moore Middle School, Tyler. She and Jan traveled together throughout the States and Europe but the mountains of Colorado called to them most powerfully, and Estes Park became like a second home. She was a member of Pollard United Methodist Church, Tyler. Although she never married and had children of her own, she treasured her part in the lives of her sister’s children, Don and Julie, Julie’s daughter, Erica and Erica’s son, Nathaniel. Aunt Nell couldn’t have loved them more if they had been her own. This woman with a keen wit and love of life fought against the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease during the last years of her life. Her dear friend, Jan, was her rock, always there with words to soothe and the unimaginable strength to care for her at home. The family will be forever grateful.

Nell was preceded in death by her mother and father, brother James Berton Samford, sister Muriel Samford Thames, nephew Don Thames, and Jim Hicks, husband of Erica.

She is survived by:

Life-long friend, traveling partner and caregiver, Janice Tuomi

Niece, Julie Thames Muller and husband, Charles

Grandniece, Erica Lynn Hicks

Great-grandnephew, Nathaniel Walker Hicks and wife, Chelsea

Numerous other relatives.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial gifts be made in Nell’s name to Pollard United Methodist Church, 3030 New Copeland Rd., Tyler, Texas 75701, or HomePlace at The Hospice of East Texas, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, Texas 75701.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Services are under the direction of Hilliard Funeral Home, Van, Texas.