Nancy Ellen Gregorcyk Thurmond, age 71, of Missouri City passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, February 10, 2023 after a courageous yearlong battle with breast cancer. Nancy was born on March 27, 1951, in Refugio, Texas to Arthur Joseph Gregorcyk and Margaret Hannah Rea Gregorcyk. She was the oldest of five siblings. She attended Our Lady of Refuge Catholic School through the 8th grade and graduated from Refugio High School in 1969. She was 5th in her class. She married James Thurmond in June 1969, was mom to three children, Brian, Eleanor, and Dolores, and was Nana to David, Jack, Bree, and Hannah.
Nancy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Sul Ross State University in December 1988 with a BBA fulfilling a promise to her dad 19 years prior when she married immediately upon graduating from high school. She was a housewife and stay at home mom, worked at H&R Block in Cleveland, as a columnist for the Cleveland Journal, and at Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde where she worked her way up from grading typing papers to Public Information Officer and editor and contest coordinator for the Palm’s Leaf and annual Creative Arts Contest . She was detailed and diligent and always wanted to be an accountant. She loved doing taxes and helping her kids navigate ever changing college degree plans. She watched all four grandchildren before they were school age and raised a basketball coach, a civil engineer, a librarian, an Army officer, a mechanic, a manager, bakers, competitive dancers, athletes, state champion, D1 & D2 athletes, salutatorian, cum laude and magna cum laude college graduates, a Mountaineer, and four Aggies.
She loved Jesus and was singing praises and praying to him in her final days. She was active in her church community involved in the Catholic Women’s Club in Uvalde, as a volunteer in the Holy Family Social Service Office from 1995-2011, and as a money counter at Holy Family in Missouri City. She was involved in numerous clubs including Uvalde Junior Service League, Friends of the Missouri City Library, and Woman’s Club of Missouri City. She held numerous positions in various clubs, Woman of the Year in 2003, Rotary’s Volunteer of the Year, and Friend of Rotary 2008-2015.
She enjoyed spending time with James because after being separated for 19 months while he was in the Army, both did not want to be separated or to travel alone. Through the years she rode behind James on a tandem bicycle everywhere including on 100-mile rides, on vacations, in the mountains, on the beach, and on just about every farm to market road in Texas. They hiked in places like Big Bend, the Rocky Mountains, and the Smokey Mountains, and traveled Europe and the United States visiting friends and family along the way. She enjoyed attending James’ Army reunions where she made friends with the spouses of his Army buddies. She was especially proud of being called a SOW at the reunions because she was James’ Same Original Wife. She walked daily with her friends and most times beat her children in the daily step challenge, which was all documented on the Fitbit App.
Nancy never met a stranger. She and James always made lifelong friends in every community they lived. James was kidded by at least three mayors in his city managerial career that he owed keeping his job to Nancy because she was so well known and liked in the community. Nancy would have been a great politician because she remembered people’s names, the names of their children, and even their birthdates.
Nancy Ellen Gregorcyk Thurmond is preceded in death by her parents, Arthur Joseph and Margaret Hannah Rea Gregorcyk. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, James Howard Thurmond of Missouri City; her son, Brian James Thurmond of Humble; her daughters, Eleanor Rea Thurmond Rivera and her husband Rene of College Station and Dolores Ann Thurmond McMahon and her husband Mark of Missouri City; her grandkids, David Arthur Rivera of Fort Benning, Georgia, Jack Ryan Rivera of College Station, Bree Elizabeth McMahon of Missouri City and Hannah Rea McMahon of Missouri City, her brothers and sisters, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family would like to thank Harbor Hospice in Houston for the fantastic care received during the last hours of Nancy’s life on earth.
In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial contributions in Nancy’s memory be made to Sul Ross State University Uvalde Campus, 2623 Garner Field Road, Uvalde, TX 78801. KINDLY NOTE: an endowment will be set up soon for Nancy. In the meantime, you can select “Area of Greatest Need” and designate the Uvalde Campus in Memory of Nancy Thurmond in the comment section: (https://www.sulross.edu/giving/), or Holy Family Catholic Church Burn the Mortgage Fund, 1510 5th Street, Missouri City, TX 77489. (https://pushpay.com/g/holyfamilychurchmissouri)
John Earl Gregorcyk Active
Arthur Joseph Gregorcyk Jr Active
Hugh David Gregorcyk Active
Jack Ryan Rivera Active
Rene Rivera Active
Mark McMahon Active
David Arthur Rivera Honorary
Bree Elizabeth McMahon Honorary
Hannah Rea McMahon Honorary
Tommy Miller Honorary