Obituary for Jeannine "Jeannie" Elliff (Thomas)
Jeannine Thomas Elliff died at age 69, in Oklahoma City, OK, in her beloved home that has been “home” to so many others. In the days prior to her death she was surrounded by her family members who celebrate her passing into eternity with her Savior, Jesus. Jeannine Kaufman Thomas was born in Burbank, California, on April 23, 1946, to Ray & Alberta Thomas. At the age of five, Jeannie’s family moved to Little Rock, AR. Jeannie graduated from Little Rock Hall High School, & subsequently attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR., where she & Tom Elliff fell in love. They were wed on August 20, 1966, & promptly began their journey together in Christian ministry. That journey included three college & seminary churches (Martindale in Little Rock, AR, Vickery in Dallas, TX, & First Baptist in Mansfield, TX), three post-seminary churches (Eastwood, Tulsa, OK, Applewood, Denver, CO, & First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, OK). They served an additional nine years with the International Mission Board, first as a missionaries in Zimbabwe, Africa, & ultimately in Richmond, VA, where her husband served as president. Jeannie loved being a wife, mother & grandmother. She was at once gracious, listening, gentle, strong, spunky, & totally devoted to her Lord, His Word, her husband, & her family. Together Jeannie & Tom toiled for the Gospel, as companions, servants & lovers. Jeannie was quick to remind people that there was a vast difference between being merely “religious,” and being genuinely born again. This testimony was born out of her own experience of serving faithfully in church & even being a pastor’s wife for five years before truly repenting & turning in faith to Christ alone for her salvation. Jeannie accepted her task of mothering as a holy stewardship. She prayed for her children, listened to them, & taught them. She filled the house with music and worship. She loved to sing praises to Jesus. She became, as the children grew, a dear & constant friend to each of them. Being a grandmother was one of the greatest joys in Jeannie’s life! She kept in touch with each of her grandchildren, sending birthday gifts, writing letters, & following them through social media. She was a Godly presence in their lives, spurring them on in their faith, & praying for them earnestly & carefully every day. Being at Grandmother’s house was pure comfort for her grandchildren. Being with Grandmother was a respite. Jeannie served her family & her friends quietly & tirelessly. Being a low-drama, balanced, steady individual, it is not surprising that God entrusted her with many Gospel adventures all over the world, along with her husband & family. For over thirty-seven years Jeannie studied the Word & taught others to do the same using the approach shared through Precept upon Precept Ministries. Walking in grace & humility, Jeannie was intimately connected with hundreds — perhaps thousands—of missionaries & believers all over the globe. She prayed for them & leaves behind a precious legacy of prayer. Jeannie never tried to be great. She sought to make Jesus great, & to encourage others in their service to Jesus. She was “sensible” as Titus 2 encourages women to be, often laying down lesser pursuits to help others for the sake of the Gospel. She valued what God valued & became in the eyes of so many others…great! Jeannie loved to remind her children & her friends of God’s all-encompassing presence in the lives of His children, found in Psalm 139:5 & Deuteronomy 33:27: “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me…and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Now, she is with God, experiencing the fulfillment of His promises, His arms, and His love, in a clearer more tangible way. Jeannie Elliff loved well…and is loved forever!
Jeannie was preceded in death by her:
She leaves many cherished memories with her loving:
Husband of nearly 50 years, Tom Elliff;
Children: Emily Elizabeth Cox & husband Tony; Amy Canille Jarboe & husband David; Sarah Jane Mann & husband Greg; Jonathan Thomas Elliff & wife Rebecca;
Sister, Jane Jacobsen & husband Paul;
25 Grandchildren and one Great Grandson.
We are grateful for all our family & friends who have encouraged us during this time. We are especially grateful for our loving church family, & Dr. Charles Hollen & the staff at Cancer Specialists of Oklahoma for their investment of over nine years of loving care. Most of all, we are grateful to our Lord Jesus whose love is never failing.