In loving memory

Meador Funeral Home – Gainesville


Sunday, December 15, 2019, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Meador Funeral Home, 1204 E. California St., Gainesville, Texas, 76240

Graveside Service

Monday, December 16, 2019,  2:00 pm

Fairview Cemetery, 710 Fair Ave., Gainesville, Texas, 76240


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Proverbs 31: 10-31

Psalm 116:15

Ava Nell Thetford, with her children by her side, was called by her Savior to eternal rest and glory on Monday, December 10, 2019 at the age of 88 years. She was born into this life on February 13, 1931 to Bessie Mae Bailey and James Wilber Ray in Hamilton Co, TX. She lost her father at a very young age but was later blessed to be called the daughter of H.O. Morgan of Big Spring, TX.

Ava Nell wed Cleveland Dale Thetford March 16, 1951. She is preceded in death by her faithful husband after celebrating more than 50 years of marriage together.

She is also preceded in death by her parents, her elder sister Betty Jo Williamson of San Antonio, her younger brother James “Jack” Weldon Ray of Big Spring, TX and one son-in-law Herbert “Red” Ware of Gainesville.

Ava Nell was the devoted mother of four happy children and their spouses. She is survived by two attentive sons, Rickey Allen Thetford and wife Tina Sue of San Angelo, TX, Cleveland Doyle Thetford and wife Mary of Longview, TX as well as two loving daughters Debra Jo Ware and Cindy Schnell Haley both of Gainesville. Additionally she is survived by her younger sister Shirley Ann Matthews of Big Spring, TX.

She was also the proud grandmother of eight grandson. She is survived by Brad Allen Thetford of Gainesville, Jason Thetford and wife Gretchen of Dothan, Alabama, David Thetford and wife Darlene of White Oak, TX, Christopher Dale Thetford of Longview, TX, Ryan Michael Haley of Gainesville, William Ray Haley of Marietta, OK, Ethan Dale Haley and wife Lauren of Gainesville, Charles Preston Thetford and wife Bonnie of Midland, TX as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends. In addition she is survived by 8 great-grandchildren with one more soon to be born.

Ava Nell worked at Weber Aircraft, INC for 23 years beginning in 1978 until her retirement June 1, 2001. She was a long-time member of Clement Street Baptist Church where she attended regularly and participated in church ministries for as long as she was able. She was a woman of great faith and had a solid personal relationship with Jesus Christ which showed in her daily walk. Her chief desire in this life was to serve God by serving her family, friends and church with great love, humility and joy.

Her kind spirit is with our Lord, but her earthly remains will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband at Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville. Funeral arrangements are thru the Meador Funeral Home with Rev. Todd Gray officiating the graveside service.

Though Ava Nell will be sorely missed by all her family and loved ones, we praise God for her exemplary yet simple life and can rejoice she is suffering no more in the arms of Jesus. We are comforted by the knowledge that we will be with her in heaven someday.

Visitation with be Sunday, December 15, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Meador Funeral Home in Gainesville. Graveside service will be Monday, December 16, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Fairview Cemetery.

The family would like to give special thanks to caregiver Ivona Sarnecki and to the nurses and aids with Home Hospice. These wonderful people have been a blessing and comfort to Ava Nell and the family during her illness and last days. Thanks you all so much for your loving care.

Honorary pallbearers are the 8 grandsons Brad Thetford, Jason Thetford, David Thetford, Christopher Thetford, William Haley Jr, Ryan Haley, Ethan Haley and Preston Thetford.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” Psalm 116:15 1

1 Cortinthians 15: 51-58