Virginia Jane "Pete" Neeley
Virginia Jane Neeley - known by everyone as "Pete" - passed away on March 20, 2014, at NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro. A lifelong resident of McDougal, Ark., Pete was a homemaker, farmer's wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, avid gardener, reader and faithful church member. She was born January 24, 1929, to Richard and Melvia Ethridge of rural Clay County. She was joined in marriage to Robert Earl Neeley on Jan. 6, 1945.
Pete was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 64 years -- Earl; her eldest son, Darrell and two great-granddaughters, Lauren and Katherine. She is survived by her children, Ronnie Neeley and his wife Erma, Barbara (Neeley) Tice and her husband Jim, Rick Neeley and his wife Phyllis; and Judy Mobley Neeley - her daughter-in-law and her brother Adrian "Pat" Ethridge. Pete is also survived by her grandchildren, Terral, Jeff, Kurt, Tim, Eric, Tonya, Marlin, John, Allison and Erin. Her great grandchildren include Taylor, Trenton, Trace, Dillon, Sarah, Kirby, Kaitlyn and Christian. Finally, she is survived by a host of nieces, nephews, friends, neighbors and members of her church family.
Pete has been a faithful member of Morris Chapel General Baptist Church since 1959. She served the church in a variety of voluntary and elected service roles including Sunday School teacher, song leader and secretary-treasurer to name just a few. Her faithfulness to and support of the church through her attendance, offerings, prayers and service impacted the overall life of the church and preserved its presence in the community.
Pete was known as a wonderful cook, a talented gardener (especially vegetables) and a hard worker regardless of the task. She spent the majority of her life in service to her husband, her children and her church. As a cook, Pete routinely cooked and served chicken and dumplings along with her apple pies at the annual Labor Day Homecoming celebration in McDougal to support the maintenance of Post Oak Cemetery. If you have attended that celebration, you have probably eaten foods that she prepared.
Visitation and funeral services will be held at Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home in Piggott, Ark. Visitation is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 21, 2014, with the funeral at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, followed by burial at the Post Oak Cemetery north of McDougal, Ark. Pastor Jared Hancock will preside over the funeral service.