Zella Mae Neely, 95 years old of Milan, Missouri passed away Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Missouri.
Robert E. Lee and Verna Lavelle Sanders gave Zella her life’s journey October 21, 1924. She was joined in this family by Willie (Wyant) and Mary Lou (Clark) in Fairland, Oklahoma.
She moved to Milan as a child with her mother and sisters when Willis Cassity became her step-father. He brought three brothers to the group, Andrew, Earl, and Frances. They soon became a large family with additions of brothers Donnie, David, Willis Jr. (Sonny) and the twins, Phillip (Bud) and Phyllis.
On January 2, 1943 she married Artis Neely and graduated high school the same year. She worked at EW Simpson Hospital and later became a welder to help with the war conflict.
When Artis came home from war she became a mother to Kenneth, Danny, and Judy.
She then set out on her own to raise her children. She worked hard at Milan Cleaners and later, ConAgra to provide a home full of God and love.
Her work in the church was very important to her as well as introducing the teachings to her kids and grandchildren. Her greatest pleasures were the choir and preparing meals for families during times of need. Also contributing to meals at work, she became known as the “Best noodle maker ever!”
Another thing she enjoyed was when she was able to visit her dad and stepmother, brother Hayward and beloved sister Mona in Oklahoma.
She was blessed with 9 grandchildren and was very involved helping and keeping them while parents worked. Her blessing grew with 17 great grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and 1 great-great-great grandchildren.
Zella was preceded in death by her parents; sons, brothers, sisters, and son-in-law, Jim Richardson. She is survived by daughter, Judy Richardson and friend Ray Healy of Milan; daughters-in-law, JoLynn Neely of Green City, Catherine Neely of Milan; sisters, Phyllis Bunch of Moline, Illinois and Mona Buzzard of Oklahoma; sisters-in-law, Mary Lou Cassity of Milan and Ellena Cassity of Milan; grandchildren, Michelle and Terry Parr, Heather and Darin Jaques, Martin and Debbie Neely, Gayla and David King, Twilia and Josh Sollars, Jeremy Weaver, Jason and Yvonne Weaver, Dennis and Bobbi Weaver, and Dustin and Sara Weaver; great grandchildren, Jennifer Pickett, Elisha Mendenhall and friend Ed McNish, Joshua Pickett and friend Faith Salisbury, Joel Pickett, Miles Jaques, Jennifer and Brad Lunsford, Jared and Courtney Sizemore, Kile Sollars, Erica Sollars, Lauren Weaver and friend John Babbitt, Jerney and Brant Blackwell, Brandon Weaver, Adrianne Weaver, Kaleb Weaver, Hallie Weaver, Blair Weaver, and Greenley Weaver; great, great grandchildren, Clay McNish, Audrey McNish, Aiden Mendenhall, Emma McNish, Destiny and Jeremiah Summers, Hunter Lunsford, Olivia Lunsford, Izabella Lunsford, Jayden Sizemore, River Sizemore, Cade Weaver, Ivy Moody, Sierra Babbitt, Marlee Blackwell; great, great, great grandchildren, Denver Summers and baby boy soon to be, Cyrus Pickett.
Funeral services for Zella will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, August 16, 2020 at the First Baptist Church in Milan. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Milan. A visitation is scheduled for one hour prior to the service, starting at 1:00 PM. Schoene-Ruschmeier Funeral Home in Milan is handling arrangements.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the First Baptist Church.