Marcia Nadine Thurman, 95, of Clarence, Mo., passed away on Monday, January 8, 2024 at the Salt River Community Care in Shelbina, Mo.
Nadine was born on August 8, 1928, the daughter of Otha Evans Sights and Francis Amelia (Morris) Sights. Throughout Nadine’s childhood, she was enveloped in love and thought she could go for anything. When her parents divorced, she saw things and other families from which she was able to learn and feel that God had blessed her with people who loved her. Love was very important to her and when she could help others by showing love, she felt she had accomplished much.
Nadine graduated from Hannibal High School at the age of 16. In her high school years, she de-voted her afternoons to music. She played trumpet in both the band and orchestra and sang in a girl’s trio, sextet and octet. Three nights a week the girls’ trio sang on KHMO. They got so much good experience and did things youth of their ages would never be allowed to do today. The same girls were also involved with the blood bank and at the hospitals, where students learned to make beds and give injections.
She was baptized at the 5th Street Baptist Church where she attended Sunday School and sang in the choir. She would leave when the musical part of the worship was completed and immediately head to the Presbyterian Church to sing in their choir. Instead of attending college right after high school, Nadine moved to Kansas City and worked as a long distance operator at the Southwestern Bell office.
Nadine became Mrs. Karl Thurman in 1947 at New Cambria, Mo. Three children were born to this union. Karladine, William, and Thomas. In 1952, the couple moved to a farm at TT in Shelby County.
As a professional educator, when the three children were all in school, Nadine returned to college. She would carpool from Clarence to Northeast Missouri State with Bobby Leftridge, Tony Killen, Eddie Clem, Elaine Ralls and Mac Smith. She held college freshman status for 14 years. Complet-ing the BS in social science education in 1965, just 3 years after returning to college Thurman accepted a position teaching elementary school music in Shelbina and remained in that position until 1969. After earning her master’s degree at Northeast Missouri State in Kirksville, she accepted a position with Shelby County C-I, North Shelby, as a music teacher and counselor for the 1969-70 school year and the next year became full-time counselor. Until 1974 this assignment took her to the Leonard, Bethel, and Shelbyville schools doing student testing. She became president of the Missouri Guidance Association and Governor Bond appointed her to the Missouri Comprehensive Health Commission as an advisory body, for which she also became the president.
Political activist. Maternal grandfather, Allie Jacob Morris, Nadine’s idol, taught her how to milk and doctor cows and to farm. By the time Nadine was 16 her grandfather had her singing at Republican Party events in Macon. Little wonder that while attending a teacher meeting in Kansas City, when Thurman saw a picture of Jack Danforth and his slogan “I hear you!” She was drawn to his meeting. Thurman met Danforth and became his Northeast Missouri coordinator. Danforth was not the only politician for whom she climbed telephone poles to put up signs and for whom she made speeches for the candidate was unable to make an appearance. She also campaigned for Kit Bond and John Ashcroft. Nadine was also very active in the local Salt River Federated Women’s Association that began in her living room in 2001. At a national level, Thurman is a member of the Presidents Club and a member of the Inter-Circle which meets in Washington, DC twice a year, to talk with senators and congressmen. She also served on the Republican National Committee to help identify candidates for offices nationwide. She would often give input to issues via conference calls many times a week. A large accomplishment for Nadine had been serving as one of the honorary chairmen for the 2005 Presidential Dinner held in Washington, D.C. Convention center on George W Bush’s birthday.
Nadine was the choir director for the Clarence Methodist Church for 33 years and youth director for 27 years. She became a lay speaker for women’s programs from Kansas City to Hannibal. She attended and completed her degree at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. Before her ordination, she served at the Oakwood United Methodist Church. In January 1985 Nadine became full-time pastor of the Faith United Methodist church in Kirksville and commuted between the Kirksville parsonage and the farm for 6 ½ years. In 1993, she resigned to be at home with her ailing husband.
Nadine made mission trips to Israel with Samuel Doctorian, a worldwide evangelist in 1980. In 1981 and 1986, she ministered to street people and the homeless in Israel with Holy Land Minis-tries. In 1997, she took her first trip to Russia with Revival Campfires Missions, an independent group at Branson. The team of 66 with evangelist Cecil Todd passed out 73,000 Bibles. She stood in front of the KGB building handing out Bibles and did not get arrested. In 1999, she returned to Russia. In 2000 while in Siberia, she preached to over 250 children, ages 6 to 14. Two thirds of these accepted the Lord as their Savior, according to Thurman.
Nadine loved to spend her time helping others develop their skills and talents for the taxing roles she was found so inviting and challenging. Nadine, throughout her life, maintained a reputation for commitment to issues especially issues pertaining to her faith, her family, her country, and her po-litical party. Nadine’s advice for adventurers: ‘Life can be ours for decades. What we do with this time we have and with the purpose for which we were created matters. We’ll always have good and evil and the ability to choose. Christ will come. We’ll have a new heaven and earth. God is in control.”
Nadine is survived by two children, Dr. Karladine Graves and her husband (Dr. Wayne Graves) of Kansas City, Mo., Dr. Tom Thurman and his wife Carolyn of Clarence, Mo.; six grandchildren, Natasha Defoe (Chuck), Dr. Larisha Prabhu (Dr. Raj), and Caleb Graves (Abby), Dr. Dalton Thurman (Dr. Alayna), Dr. Conner Thurman (Dr. Victoria), Wyatt Thurman (Stevie); ten great-grandchildren; and two half-sisters, Darlene Huff (Gene deceased) of Columbia, MO and Linda Baker (Roy) of Texas. On that side of the family there are Nephews: Travis Huff (Amanda), Mitchell Huff (Ashley) Eddie Baker (Alicia), Chris Baker (Shana) Great Nephews: Zachary Huff, Henry Huff, Noah Huff, Landon Huff, Joseph Baker, Josh Baker. Great Nieces: Gabrielle Baker, Tonya Baker, Gwendolyn Baker. Nadine officiated weddings for: Travis and Amanda Huff – July 5, 1998, Chris and Shana Baker – October 9, 2005
She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Karl; and son, William “Billy” Thurman.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at 2 pm at Faith Family Fellowship in Christ Church in Clarence, Mo. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm at the church. Burial will be held at Maplewood Cemetery in Clarence, Mo.
Memorials may be made to the World Church Alliance https://help.rescue.org/donate, Holy Land Minis-tries https://help.ifcj.org/donate, and/or Faith Family in Christ Church of Clar-ence https://www.facebook.com/people/Clarence-Faith-Family-in-Christ-Church/100064780803944/.