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July 15, 1931 ~ December 7, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Nellie Capps Elwell, 92, passed away on Thursday, December 7, 2023. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, December 11, 2023 at First Baptist Church Clifton. Burial will be held at 2:30 P.M. Monday, December 11, 2023 at Bismark Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 P.M. Sunday, December 10, 2023 at Clifton Funeral Home.
Nellie Capps Elwell was born July 15, 1931 in rural Hughes County near Wetumpka, Oklahoma. She was the seventh of 8 children born in a farming family. She grew up working on the farm picking cotton, attending other crops, milking cows, and going to rural schools near Holdenville, Oklahoma. Her family did not have electricity or indoor plumbing until after she graduated from high school.
During her teenage years, became a Christian and attended the Church of Christ in Holdenville.
After high school graduation, she moved to Tulsa to attend a business school. She started working for a manufacturer in Tulsa.
For several years she remained a single young woman working and involved in a church family in Tulsa. She continued to help with her parents, siblings and extended family in southern Oklahoma.
In 1957 she met Larry Elwell, who had been single for several years and had a young daughter Carol from a previous marriage. Larry thought he was a confirmed bachelor, but he changed his mind.
In April 1961 Nellie and Larry married in Tulsa. Four sons were born over the next 8 years. Zachary 1962, Steven in 1964, Daniel in 1968, Lucas in 1970.
For more than 60 years since their marriage, Nellie completely supported Larry in his career as a university professor and in his role as minister and evangelist in Tulsa, and later in his 20 years in prison ministry in Texas.
In addition to the care of her 4 sons and many of their friends, she showed hospitality by opening her home to scores of homeless people, people with disabling addictions, and recently released convicts from Oklahoma and Texas jails. She also welcomed many of Larry's university students over several years.
As her sons matured and gave her grandchildren, she became a major caregiver for many of her grandchildren. In spite of managing to help take care of Larry's "strays", she made her home a safe haven.
Her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and hundreds of others have noted her humble and faithful servant's heart.
Nellie's Christian faith defined her. Her love of God, family, and others was always evident.
Since Larry died in February 2022, she has continued to be involved with family members and a few others who were blessed with taking care of her in the last couple of years.
If she had a common theme recently it would be that she was thankful for those of us who are taking care of her and that she was frustrated that she was a burden to us.
Of course, those of us taking care of her in the last few years have been aware that she has given much more than she received. She did not seek attention but rather wanted to serve.
After a hip fracture and a stroke in early December, it was evident that she was nearing eternity. She came home from the hospital on hospice. She enjoyed some special times with family at home and passed away peacefully on the morning of December 7, 2023.
She is survived by her stepdaughter Carol and husband Richard Hagan of Valley Mills, Texas, her son Zachary Elwell of Joshua, Texas, her son Steven and wife Debbie Elwell of Valley Mills, Texas, her son Daniel and wife Lisa Elwell of Robstown Texas, her son Lucas and wife Michele Elwell of Arlington Texas. She has 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren (including step-).
We celebrate her long and exemplary life. All of us who have known her have been blessed.