Nancy Thomas 1926 – 2020

PIERRE, SD  – Nancy Belle Thomas, 93, of Pierre, passed peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by love, on April 4, 2020 after a short battle with bone marrow disease. Please join her family in celebrating her life as they share her funeral service at 10:30am, Thursday, April 9, 2020 at You can also reserve a “virtual” seat at her service by emailing us at and we will place a heat and your name on an unfilled chair to show her family that you are with them in spirit.

Nancy was born on November 11, 1926 at the home of her grandparents in Wessington Springs, South Dakota, the youngest of three sisters, to Leslie Vivian (L.V.) and Bessie Hope Ausman. After a childhood in Tyndall, she moved with her sisters Merry Phyllis and Elizabeth (Betty) Hope and their parents to Elk Point where she entered seventh grade and made many life-long friends, before graduating from high school in 1945. She attended Yankton College where she graduated in 1949 summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. Upon graduation, Nancy followed her parents to Pierre where her father had taken the position of Secretary of Agriculture with the State of South Dakota. In Pierre, Nancy taught history at Pierre High School. After several years of teaching,she accepted a position with the Department of the Navy in Washington DC for a year to broaden her horizons.

She returned to Pierre where she met her future husband Jordan Bernell Thomas. They shared a love of music, although Nancy’s tastes were a bit less avant garde than Jordan’s. Nancy never understood Thelonius Monk, or “Monk’s Nightmare”, as she called one of Jordan’s favorite records. Nancy and Jordan were married in the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Pierre on December 18, 1955 and then moved to Mitchell where Jordan had a job with the Soil Conservation Service. The first of three boys, Philip Jordan, was born in Mitchell. Nancy and Jordan’s other two sons, Alan Spencer and Blake Carter were born when the family returned to Pierre. Nancy and Jordan made their home on Madison Street, next door to her parents–a home Nancy resided in for nearly 60 years. Nancy returned to work as the head teller at Bank West when the boys were grown. She worked in this position for many years before finally retiring.

Nancy was a woman of profound faith and a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Pierre for more than seventy years. Nancy took on many responsibilities at the church, but is best remembered for sharing the gift of her beautiful voice as a member of the choir. Nancy’s love for singing led to her performing at many weddings and other functions as well as singing with her family. While sometimes clumsy afoot, Nancy was socially graceful. She was active in her PEO chapter, Monday Musical, the East Pierre Woman’s Club, and was an avid bridge player. She loved to read, enjoying both mystery novels and historical biographies. For the last several years Nancy resided at Parkwood where she reunited with old friends and made many new friends as well.

She is survived by her sister Betty Waller of St Joseph, Missouri, brothers-in-law Gary (Renee) Thomas of Flandreau and Jay Thomas of Lubbock Texas, her sons Philip (Betsy) Thomas of Dallas, Texas, Alan (Yvette) Thomas of Pierre, and Blake (Kellie) Thomas of Sturgis; Grandchildren Bennett (Caitlin) Thomas, Weston Thomas, Matthew Holman, Jared (Julie) Thomas, Kaitlin Thomas, Jordan Thomas, Alana Thomas, Ian (Maria) Garduña, Blanca Garduña, and Felicia Tietjen; and her beloved nephews and nieces and their families. Five great grandchildren, brought much love and vigor into Nancy’s final years, they are Emma, Aiden, Spencer, Max, and Juliet. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jordan, her sister Merry Emme, brothers-in-law Kenneth Emme and Glenn Waller, and sisters-in-law Joyce Lloyd, Nancy Thomas and Trudy Thomas. Nancy Thomas had as pure a heart as has been put on this earth, and she will be remembered for her warmth and kindness to all.

Condolences may be conveyed to the family at