Thayer Nightingale


June 19, 2019 — Thayer Nightingale, born Dec. 2, 1936, in Honolulu, Hawaii, was the only son of parents whose professions centered around science and research. Through the influence of his parents, he was raised to take nothing for granted, to examine all evidence carefully and go where the evidence led — regardless of prevailing fashion.

Health issues plagued him his entire life, but he truly believed in the sovereignty of God and used even the most painful experiences to place him where he was supposed to be.

He was a student, missionary, police officer, park ranger and lastly a custodian employed by the Siuslaw School District for about 20 years.

As a custodian in the elementary school building, he ended up being much more than someone just pushing a broom. Humbly, but efficiently, he was able to solve many problems that required a solution for keeping ther elementary school operational.

At age 5, Thayer saw Pearl Harbor attacked — an experience that never left him for his entire life. But the greatest impact on his life was the finding of a small New Testament, which prompted him to read the entire Bible. This brought him to the conviction that this book contained “The Truth” and all the answers to life’s most important philosophical questions.

This book presented a man who had walked the Earth and claimed He had been with God and that God was incarnate. For Thayer, this was life changing!

Thayer often spoke these words, testifying: “Compared to God, we are all impaired, even when we think we are the most brilliant.”

In his last days on Earth, suffering from Alzheimer’s, a heart condition and diabetes, Thayer was able to remain in his home until his death on April 28, 2019.

Even in his weak condition, he could sing old familiar hymns and always knew his wife, Thelia, and daughters Coral and Heather.

Thayer and his family lived in Florence from 1973 until his retirement in 1994. Upon retiring, he and Thelia moved to the small rural community of Wilhoit, Ariz.

His memorial service was held May 3, in Skull Valley, Ariz.,  at Skull Valley Bible Church.

Upon his passing, it was always Thayer’s desire that his memorial service not be about him but all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

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