Classic television icon Jim Nabors has died at the age of 87. Nabors died peacefully at his home in Hawaii on Thursday. His death is confirmed by his husband, Stan Cadwallader. Jim Nabors had been in declining health for the past year. He is best known for his 60s classic television role as Gomer Pyle both on "The Andy Griffith Show," and "Gomer Pyle."

Classic TV fans mourn loss of Jim Nabors

Fans remember Jim as the lovable and somewhat clumsy mechanic from Ollie's gas station who would often exclaim in innocent amazement "Wellll Gollllll-ly" and "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise" before leaving Mayberry to join the United States Marines in the hit spinoff "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."

Jin Nabors describes Gomer Pyle

When speaking of his character Gomer in a 2008 interview, Nabors stated that Gomer was always thought of as stupid, when he wasn't.

“He just wanted to see the goodness in everybody.” Until today, Nabors had been listed along with Betty Lynn, 91, who played Thelma Lou and Ron Howard, 63, (Opie Taylor) as three of the surviving original cast members of the "Andy Griffith Show."

Throughout his life, Nabors was known as an ardent supporter of the U.S. Marine Corps. He is one of only a handful of people to earn the official status of "Honorary Marine." Following the end of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." Jim hosted his own CBS variety show "The Jim Nabors Hour" from 1969-1971. He also was often found as a guest on close pal Carol Burnett's variety show appearing on the opening telecast each season of her comedy-variety show during its 1967 to 1979 run.

Nabors then later went on to appear online side actor Burt Reynolds in films "Cannonball Run II" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." Besides having a successful acting career, Nabors was an accomplished singer who recorded more than two-dozen albums of them five went gold and one platinum.

In the 70s Nabors bought a 500-acre macadamia farm in Hawaii where he made his home the rest of his life with his partner and husband Stan Cadwallader.

The couple wed in 2013 Washington state, where gay marriage had recently been made legal. Cadwallader described Jim as a caring and wonderful man loved by all that knew him adding that he would be "greatly missed" by all. Nabors never spoke out much publicly about his relationship, however, his closest friends had known for years that Jim was gay.

At this time memorial service details are pending. Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Jim Nabors during this difficult time. Rest in Peace Mr. Nabors.