June 20, 1931 – June 10, 2019
Doris Nunn went home to her Lord and Savior on Monday, June 10, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona, ten days short of her 88th birthday. Born in Wingate, Texas near Winters, on June 20, 1931, she was the daughter of the late Lonnie Bell and Edgar William Sneed. Doris was a twin and she and her brother Noris, were the 9th and 10th siblings in the family of eleven children who lived on a farm in the small, rural community. Throughout our whole lives as her children, mom was often described with numerous adjectives (kind, gracious, Godly, soft-spoken, talented,) but always “classy” was the common definition by everyone. The first time we learned that mom grew up on a farm – we were shocked! We could not believe she grew up around animals, picked cotton or would get into trouble for playing around the horses watering trough. But it was there where she learned an incredibly strong work ethic and that neighbors always helped each other out in times of need. This is where her gift for hospitality and serving others was nurtured. Mom had an incredible gift characterized by her warmth and generosity towards others, whether it was a stranger or a friend. Throughout life and as adults, we were in awe of her ability to make others feel comfortable and special, whether with food, a cup of tea, words of encouragement or prayer. She continued to bless others in her later years of life when in the moderate stages of Alzheimer’s, she was known as a “servant to others” who would always have a smile or a kind word, or if they were upset, she would simply go sit with them and put a hand on their arm or offer a hug and let them know she was there for them. Mom graduated at sixteen from high school in Colman, Texas, as the Salutatorian of her class and went on to attend a state college. After her first year, she went to visit her older sister and husband (Mae and Tommy Manns) in Amarillo, Texas. She wrote about how she was very close to this particular sister and she and her husband were very active in their church but “a bit too religious for me”. Mom had grown up in a Christian family where she indicated her mother “revered God”, but she often struggled with an “emptiness” throughout high school and college that she never truly understood. While attending church with Mae and Tommy, she again felt something missing in her life. When asked by a pastor one night if she was a Christian, and explaining what that meant, she realized she had never accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and fully committed her life to Him. She met our father, Art that same time when he came home from college for the summer. Dad admitted he had always had a bit of a crush on Aunt Mae and told her “if she ever had a sister, he would marry her!”. Mom didn’t want to meet him because she had said she would “never be a preacher’s wife”. Dad said, “I was attracted to Doris by her beauty, her sweet spirit and winsomeness, and the esteem in which others held her because of her charming personality – I felt a sense of peace when I was with her”. They were engaged the following summer and married on October 14, 1950 and remained so for 67 years until his death of a year ago. Mom became the preacher’s wife that she vowed she would never be. She and dad were in the ministry together since the day they married and together pastored numerous churches in Texas and California. During their ministry together, Mom also worked full-time as an executive administrative assistant in several universities including Dallas Baptist College and the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. After three children and several pastorates, Dad enlisted as a Chaplain in the U.S. Army when the age limit was raised in order to supply chaplains during the Vietnam War. As difficult as it was for mom to accept, she indicated it took a while for her to actually pray about it and felt the Lord giving them both with a strong duty and calling to serve the Lord and country. We, as a family, served at Fort Ord, California and in Schwabach, Germany. At the time that he enlisted, the chaplains were told that they would be going to Vietnam after basic training and chaplaincy school. Out of the 80 men in his group, only two were sent elsewhere. Dad received orders to Korea at the 38th parallel stationed at Panmumjom (the line dividing North and South Korea on the DMZ). While in Korea, Mom and the kids moved to the Dallas area to live near Mae and Tommy. Their family enveloped mom and us with love and support during this time. Mom was working full-time as a single parent with three kids in high school, junior high and elementary school. This is a time when we saw the true strength, love and commitment to her husband and family and the unfailing reliance that mom had on the Lord. To us, she was always joyful and loving, even when we were struggling with dad being gone. She told us later in life that she would only cry in the bathroom after we were asleep in our two-bedroom apartment, and then she would pray. When dad returned, they continued pastoring until both joined the California Southern Baptist Convention. Mom worked as the administrative assistant to the President for five years before retiring. During their life together, Mom and dad made several mission trips. The one she always talked about throughout our lives was to Tanzania where they fell in love with the Tanzanian people and culture. They worked side by side with close friends who were long-term missionaries in Tanzania. They helped with bringing clean water and cooking stoves to villages. They both spoke, ministered and loved on the Tanzanian people. It was always a place close to her heart. Both Art and Doris were commissioned as Home Missionaries by the North American Mission Board. They served in the pastoral ministry for 48 years together through churches and the chaplaincy in the Army. Mom loved taking her children to see extended family in Texas most summers for Sneed and Nunn reunions and games of Texas 42 and Hand and Foot; dad’s sisters were also hers and she loved laughing with “the girls”; she enjoyed music and singing; having High Tea in a china cup (warmed with hot water) and homemade scones; humming birds; and being a loving and exceptional wife and mother, and Nana and Grandmother. She is preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Leonard Arthur “Art” Nunn; son, Arthur “Bruce” Nunn; her parents and seven brothers and two sisters. She is survived by her son, Brian Nunn and wife Cheryl of Eureka, CA; daughter, Sherilyn Wadsworth and husband Larry of Cave Creek, AZ; daughter-in-law Becky of Stockton, CA; her twelve grandchildren, Lance Nunn, Kimberly Elmore, Shiree Robinson, Jay Tipple, Tommy Sam Nunn, Breanna Nunn, Joseph Nunn, Derek Nunn, Tiffany Nunn, Savannah Nunn, Viking Wadsworth and Taylor Wadsworth; nine great-grandchildren; her sister Mae Manns, of Henderson, NC; brother Bill Sneed and wife Ginger of Talpa, TX; and a slew of family and many good friends. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St. Phoenix AZ 85014 (https://www.hov.org); or a favorite charity.
- Committal Service Friday, June 14, 2019
June 13, 2019
Aunt Doris was an example of an humble, quiet, loving woman who served the Lord always with true grace. A visit with her, either in person or on the phone, always blessed and uplifted my spirit. Her prayers were a comfort and a help. We will miss her.
Sherlyn and Brian and your families, you are all in our thoughts and prayers at this time of sorrow and loss.
With deepest sympathy and love,
Glenda and David Buhrmann