Noma Nell (Minze) (Higgins) Thomas was born February 19,1936 to Ava (Wilson) and Jake Minze in the Box Church Community of Limestone County, and on December 21, 2019 went to Heaven in Mexia, Tx. These dates are only the bookends to the life that Noma Nell lived as a steward of the Lord through her relationships with family, students, and friends. Growing up as an only child in a hard-working farming/ranching family, Noma Nell was very close to her large extended family. She attended early schools in Groesbeck, Forest Glade, and Delia and graduated with honors from Coolidge High School in 1954.
Later that year, Noma Nell married R.S. Higgins, Jr and began her travel adventures moving to Eastland, Brackettville, Stanton, Tarzan, Coahoma, Nashville, Belton, Big Spring, Alice, Mexia, Farmers Branch, Deer Park, Baytown, Fairfield, Teague, and Springfield. Throughout her adult life she continued her love of raising horses to be used in rodeo racing and cutting.
After attending Howard College, Texas A&M, and Stephen F Austin Universities, she earned her Master’s degree in English, History, and Education, specializing in teaching High School English and journalism. She retired in 2012 after teaching at Limestone Correctional Facility and Navarro College. During this time, she acquired another extended family, the coaching Mullets, that moved and worked together and even still meet for reunions every summer.
In 1987, Noma Nell married Jimmy Thomas, continuing her adventures and stewardship, and added another special part of her family. Noma Nell especially enjoyed doing extended family genealogy and traveling to locations to research in person. She became a member and officer of the DAR and DRT, working with the local school’s scholarship essay contests.
As a lifelong adult member of the Methodist church, Noma Nell was an active member in the choir, study groups, and leadership. After retirement, Noma Nell enjoyed working out at the CLC in Mexia, singing in Wings of Joy, flower gardening, serving at the local food pantry & Meals on Wheels, sewing, painting, learned to play guitar, attending events of family & friends, and socializing with everyone she came across at the local cafes and shops.
She believed in promoting positivity through service, prayer, secret acts of kindness, and dressing for success. Noma Nell is affectionately remembered as a cowgirl fashionista with an infectious friendly attitude.
Noma Nell is preceded in death by her parents and sons Bryan Neal Higgins and Scott Higgins and many cousins and other extended family.
She is survived by her husband, Jimmy Thomas of Groesbeck; children: Dawn Higgins, Deb & Philip Howell, and Brad Thomas; daughter-in-law: Dale McMichael; grandchildren: Misty & Dennis Sprouse, Meredith & Ryan Jones, Wyatt Turk, Claire Higgins, Clayton Turk; great grandchildren: Keegan & MaKenna Sprouse, Cooper & Bennett Jones; sisters-in-law, JoAnne Thomas and Glynda Underwood; and numerous extended family members.
Please continue to honor Noma Nell through making a contribution to the local Caritas or church, ALSA.org, CureALZ.org, Safe Haven Equine Rescue, “paying it backwards” at the cash register, or joining a local service organization (no flowers please).
A Memorial service will be held at 1:30 pm on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at First Methodist Church in Groesbeck. Visitation prior to the Memorial Service will be at the church from 11:00 until 1:30. Honorary Pallbearers (Mullet sons) are Rusty Parker, Lenny Loyd, Rick Dykes, Kevin Crousen, Scotty Pugh, Clay Miller, Jay Pugh, Sonny Dykes, Monty Miller, and J.J. Griffin.