Thomas's Story

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Thomas Allen Nell, 80, of Lake Leelanau, went home to his Savior Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.
Tom was born on Dec. 18, 1936 in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the son of Chester and Kathryn (Pfaff) Nell. On April 13, 1957 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he married Marilyn Ruof, who survives.
Tom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree from Penn State.
Upon graduation he was a mechanical engineer with Pontiac Motor Division. After leaving Pontiac he started a new chapter and was a business owner of Tom Nell Bicycles, in partnership with his wife, Marilyn, for 25 years. In 1997 he retired and moved to his home in God's country, with a beautiful view of Good Harbor Bay.
Tom was blessed with many God-given talents, woodworking, including building a beautiful octagon porch, building performance engines for NASCAR, NHRA and SCCA, and racing mountain bikes and winning seven Michigan Mountain Biking Championships (in his class).
Tom was a member of LCUMC and previously served as church treasurer. He was also a statistician, volunteer coordinator and past president of LCN.
In his spare time he enjoyed playing cards with the Tuesday bridge group.
His achievements and kindness were countless, but he attributed his success to determination and to the glory of God.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to everyone. He will be greatly missed.
In addition to his loving wife of 60 years, Tom is survived by his children, Jeff Nell, Cristi Nell, Vicki (Alan) Craker and Richard Nell; eight grandchildren, Nick, Katrina, Zach, Windsor, Austin, Natalie, Jeremy (Heather) and Johnny; one great-grandson, Liam; and a brother, Phillip Nell, of Russell, Iowa.
A celebration of Tom's life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 1 p.m., at Leland Community UMC. The Rev. Daniel Hofmann will officiate.
Memorials may be directed to Leland Community United Methodist Church, PO Box 602, Leland, MI 49654.
Please share memories and condolences at www.martinson.info.
Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Leelanau.
Published on September 24, 2017
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