Bessie Floretta Neal, age 97, departed this life on November 1, 2013, at the Westridge Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation Home in Raytown, Missouri, one year to the day after her last surviving sibling, Verda Lee Littlefield, passed away.
Services for Bessie Floretta (James) Neal will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 9, 2013, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel, 2800 Paramount Blvd., Amarillo, TX. Interment will be at the Groom Cemetery, Groom, Texas, after the service.
Bessie Floretta Neal was born in the home of her parents Grace May (Posey) and Barry Z. James near Clarendon in Donley County, Texas, on October 6, 1916. She was greeted by 1 sister Lyndall Luella and 1 brother Eldred Neal James. Later additions to the family were two brothers: Loyed Nelson -“Ike”, Barry Z, Jr.; and 5 sisters, Verda Lee, Rosa Lee, Elizabeth Jane, Cora Vanell and Nelta Mae. All her siblings as well as her parents preceded Bessie in death. Bessie is survived by 18 grandchildren, more than 30 great-grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren.
Bessie was married to William J. Neal on 14th of April, 1934, in Clarendon, Texas. Unto this union were born 3 sons; William Leon, James Everett, Orville Gene; and one daughter Geraldine Mae. All of the sons preceded her and her husband, William, in death. William passed away on March 26, 2006, 19 days prior to their 72nd Wedding anniversary.
Bessie spent the majority of her married life in Amarillo, Texas. She worked as a cafeteria manager for the Amarillo School system for 26 years. During summer and Christmas vacations she worked part time for J.C. Penny. She and William owned and operated a laundry for several years. Bessie was a member of the Hillcrest Baptist Church. Bessie and William enjoyed trips to visit relatives and regularly went to Arkansas and Oklahoma. They also loved to go to Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry.
Bessie moved to Kansas City, Missouri, to live with her daughter Geraldine Seamster after the death of William. While there she enjoyed trips to see visit her grandkids and younger sisters. She lived with Geraldine and her husband “J” until July of this year, when she moved into the Westridge Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Home.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be sent to the Groom Cemetery Association, Groom, Texas.