Cover photo for Thomas Elliott Gulley's Obituary
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1945 Thomas 2012

Thomas Elliott Gulley

July 19, 1945 — November 11, 2012

On July 19, 1945 in Camden, Arkansas God blessed the holy union of Hillis Gulley and Mattie Randall Gulley with a handsome baby boy, whom they named Thomas Elliot Gulley. Nurtured in a Christian home in Malvern, Arkansas, Thomas learned the importance of working hard, helping others, enjoying life and most importantly, putting God and family first. Those early lessons would fortify the essence of his legacy. Thomas gave his life to Christ at a young age and joined First Missionary Baptist Church - Rockport. When “Tom” was around the age fourteen, his mother Mattie married Rev. Dennis Hudson and Thomas grew to love him as a father, as Rev. Hudson loved him as his son. He was educated in Nevada County school system and was a graduate of Oak Grove High School. He married Gwendolyn and the Lord blessed this union with the birth of twin boys Armando and Byron. Together they laid a solid foundation for family life based on love, commitment, and Christian values. “Tom” served his country by joining the United States Marine Corps on October 25, 1965. While in the Marine Corps he received several honors, medals and commendations including: the Good Conduct Medal, Rifle-Marksmanship Badge, Vietnamese Service Medal w/2*, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnamese Campaign Medal w/Device. He was honorably discharged on November 5, 1971. He relocated back to Malvern in 2001 to be with his mother. He united with East Moline Church of Christ in Malvern, Arkansas where he served as chairperson of finance, lead person of benevolence and help assistant with the youth. He was a big man in stature and in heart. Thomas was well respected and was always the life of the party. He was a one of the coolest, outgoing, tenacious, patient, straight forward and down to earth men that lived. Outspoken, Thomas “meant what he said and said what he meant”. There was never a dull moment when he was around and he never met a stranger. He will most be remembered by his style, charisma, smile, generosity and infectious laugh. Thomas not only served his family, country and church but he served his community as well. He was a member of the Malvern Martin Luther King, Jr., Association where he served on the prayer breakfast committee and a board member of the Smith House for Battered Women in Malvern, Arkansas. He was the owner and operator of Rib Shack in Malvern. Like most men of the south, Thomas loved to fish and was a true outdoorsman. On Sunday, November 11, 2012, in his 67th season, Thomas answered the call that no man can refuse and surrendered his soul to Christ. He was preceded in death by his fathers Hillis Gulley, Rev. Dennis Hudson and an infant daughter. Because love is far greater than death, Thomas departs this earth in body only. Those left to celebrate his life and legacy are his loving mother, Mrs. Mattie Hudson of Malvern, AR; his two sons, Armando Gulley of North Little Rock, AR and Byron Gulley of Malvern, AR; his fiancé Catherine Latta of Malvern, AR; five grandchildren; two sisters, Beverly Lomack of Malvern, AR, and Sandra Dendy of Malvern, AR; two aunts, Trudy Conley of Celevland, OH and Ella Mae Osler of California; one uncle, Leroy Randall of Detroit, MI; a special cousin raised as a brother, Larry (Earline) Macon of Cleveland, OH; special friends, Gwendolyn Davis of Hot Springs, AR, Sammy Lee Mitchell of Malvern, AR, and Johnny Parks of Atlanta, GA. His god-daughter of California He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, the Gilbert family and the East Moline Church of Christ family. Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Mr. Gulley will lie in repose at East Moline Church of Christ, 1105 E. Moline Street on Friday, November 16, 2012, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. The family will receive friends from 6-7 p.m. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Malvern Senior Adult Center on 1800 West Moline Street. Brother Louis Smith will officiate. The committal service and final resting place will be in Perla Cemetery. Bearers of the casket will be Phillip Randall, Leroy Morgan, Kevin McClendon, Delio Alexander, Anthony Watkins and Johnny Parker. Honorary bearers will be the Brothers of East Moline Church of Christ, Sammy Lee Mitchell, Lonnel Crudup, Larry Macon and the Rib Shack Crew.
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