Published: 1:39 pm, Sun. May. 7th, 2017Updated: 1:38 pm
Memorial services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, May 11, at First United Methodist Church for Warren Earle Nell of Lubbock, Texas.
Nell, 87, passed away Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at Covenant Specialty Hospital in Lubbock.
Carroll Lockett will officiate at the services, with Monty Leavell assisting. Interment has taken place at Greenwood Cemetery in Weatherford, Okla., under the direction of Lockstone Funeral Home.
Warren was born Feb. 9, 1930, in Hollis, Okla., the son of William Bryan and Crystal (McCarty) Nell.
On Aug. 29, 1955, he married Shirley LaVonne Steward in Weatherford, and the couple came to New Mexico in 1957 from Oklahoma.
They lived in Aztec and Tucumcari before making Artesia their home in 1969. The resided here until 2011, when they relocated to Lubbock.
Warren rodeoed and farmed after graduating high school, then served in the U.S. Army as the master sergeant of Company D of the 120th Combat Engineer Battalion of the 45th Infantry Division during the Korean War.
He later graduated from Southwestern State University at Weatherford, where he received a degree in secondary education. He attended mortuary school in Dallas, Texas, and became a licensed mortician.
Warren began his teaching career in Aztec, where he was a teacher, coach, counselor and high school principal. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a master’s degree and was the superintendent of the Tucumcari Public Schools. While in Tucumcari, he successfully wrote the first Title I program approved by the New Mexico Department of Education.
Warren and two other colleagues founded the New Mexico School Administrators Association, and he was a past president of that organization.
He became superintendent of the Artesia Public Schools in 1969, retiring from education in 1985 and becoming executive vice president of Western Bank, a position he held until his 65th birthday.
Warren developed and invented a paint roller cleaner and was issued a U.S. patent. He and his wife, Shirley, continued to live in Artesia until 2011, where he enjoyed playing golf, traveling, hunting, fishing, gardening, and family activities.
Warren was a member of First United Methodist Church, where he served on many committees and was a Sunday School teacher. He was involved in many community projects during his tenure in Artesia, serving as president of the Artesia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Artesia Country Club, the Eddy County Fair Board, and Artesia Little League, and also serving on the Artesia Historical Museum Board.
Warren was a member of the committee that brought the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to Artesia. He was named Superintendent of the Year for the state of New Mexico and was inducted into the New Mexico School Administrators Hall of Fame in 2008.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Shirley, of the family home; daughter Lisa Robinson and husband Rex of Carlsbad; son Charles Nell and wife Laura of Lubbock; brothers WB Nell of Hollis, Okla., and GQ Nell and wife Donna of Lubbock; sisters Geraldine Carrick and Wanda Faye, both of Hollis; grandchildren Drew Robinson and wife Kristyne, and Barrett Robinson and wife Brianna, both of Carlsbad, Dedi Hanagan and husband Hondo of Houston, Texas, and Maggie Nell, Bryan Nell and Katie Nell, all of Lubbock; and great-grandchildren Kinslee Hanagan, Breleigh Hanagan and Hudson Hanagan, all of Houston, and Texas Sydney Robinson and Bentley Robinson, both of Carlsbad.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Sybil Francis and husband Gene, and Wilma Gene Kromer and husband Roland; brothers-in-law Floyd Carrick, Norman Williams and Roland Steward; sisters-in-law Therol Nell, Patricia McIntyre and Mae Ann Steward; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Warren lived a happy life; he loved his family and valued his friends’ friendship greatly. He lived his life based on Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.”