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Nelle Stuart Thomason

Hampton, AR, 1920 - 2019

Nelle Stuart Thomason, 98 of Hampton, died Saturday, January 12, 2019. She was born December 24, 1920 in Ozan, Ark., to the late Nannie Fletcher Stuart and Hugh Ossie Stuart. She was also preceded in death by her younger brother Monroe Stuart.
Nelle attended school at Ozan and Nashville High School. She graduated from a two year commercial study program at Magnolia A&M (SAU) with honors in 1940. She taught typing and shorthand in Camden and Stamps. She accepted a job in Hampton with the Farm Security Administration in 1941.
She married Jack Thomason in Hampton in March of 1944. They had two children – Billy Hugh (Bill) and Regina. Nelle and Jack bought and operated Kash-Way Grocery from 1945 to 1965. After Jack died suddenly in 1965, Nelle continued to operate the store until 1969. Nelle then became the bookkeeper for Nutt Equipment, then secretary of the Calhoun County Farm Bureau for 24 years. She also took a course in tax preparation and began doing taxes for the public in 1970 and continued tax work through 2016.
She transferred her membership to the Hampton United Methodist Church in 1946 and has been a very active member for 72 years. She taught Sunday School for children (nursery and kindergarten) for 50 years, was the youth director for 10 years, sang in the choir, and was very active in the United Methodist Women. She served as financial secretary for over 25 years and held most leadership positions at one time. She was recognized as one of the Outstanding Women in the Little Rock Conference in 1999.
Nelle loved arranging and growing flowers. She had large flower gardens at her home. In 1953, she joined the Hampton Garden Club where she served as president 12 times. In the early years the Garden Club focus was the development of the City Park in which she played a major role. She felt her most important task with the Garden Club was working with Winnie Harrell to secure a building they could use as the Garden Club Center and a Community Center. With the help of Calhoun County Bank (Now Generations Bank) this dream was fulfilled in 1997.
In 2007 Nelle was recognized as Calhoun County Citizen of the Year.
Nelle began helping with stage decorations for the Calhoun County Fair in 1988 and later several other tasks over the years. She was recognized for her hard work by the Arkansas Fair Manager's Association with the "Work Horse" Award for 2011 in Hot Springs.
Nelle loved bowling and taking bus trips. She was on a bowling team from 1967 through 2004 and really enjoyed the fellowship of team members. In the annual bus trips she eventually visited all but four states.
As shown above, Nelle was a true servant to her Church and Community. She always tried (and she set the example) to teach her children and grandchildren to do their best, work hard, don't give up, be loyal to your church and organizations you are affiliated with, be patient, be enthusiastic, and treat others with courtesy and respect.
Nelle is survived by her children: Bill (Jane) Thomason of Ponca City, Okla., and Regina (Virgil) Bethea of Hampton; her grandchildren: Arthur (Kerrie) Thomason of League City, Texas, Emily Thomason (Brad) Milsaps of Atlanta, Kevin (Chancy) Bethea of Bryant, Ark., David (Lindsey) Bethea of Hampton, and Billy (Crystal) Bethea of Sheridan, and her great grandchildren: Jack, Ann, and May Thomason of League City, Ellen and Will Milsaps of Atlanta, Rhett and Audrey Bethea of Hampton, and Presley and T.P. of Sheridan.
Visitation will be Tuesday from 12:30 PM until 2:00 PM at Hampton United Methodist Church. Funeral services will follow at 2 PM at the church. Burial will be at Campground Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Hampton United Methodist Church. To sign the online register visit

Published January 14, 2019

Benton Funeral Home Inc.
501 West 4th Street, Fordyce, AR
Phone: 870-352-3131