Athens Review, Athens, Texas


July 5, 2013

Robert Melva Neely

Athens — ATHENS-Robert M. Neely was born Jan. 10, 1925 in the Baxter Community to the late Lonnie and Carl Steele Neely. He passed away to his heavenly home July 3, 2013 in Athens after a brief illness at the age of 88 years.

He married the love of his life Betty Ruth Richardson on Dec. 8, 1955. He was a faithful member of First Baptist Church in Athens and served on the security committee at the church for many years. He was a member of the Men’s Sunday School Class and served with them on the Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey deliveries. Robert was raised and lived in the Baxter Community, and spent all his life on the home place, which is on what used to be called Gum Creek.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and deployed to England in early 1944 to prepare for the invasion of Normandy. He steamed across the English Channel in darkness, and landed at Utah Beach with the 4th Infantry Division on June 6, 1944. He was later assigned to the 2nd Armored Division nicknamed “Hell on Wheels,” and saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. Robert was with the first American military unit to enter Berlin after the surrender of Germany.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Betty, brother Woodrow Neely, sisters  Evangeline Burns, Eva Lou Hughes, twin sister Ruth Marie Daniel, niece Lana Hughes Nelson and several brothers and sisters-in-law.

Survivors include his son Robert Kenneth Neely and wife Linda, grandson Trent Robert Neely, granddaughter Ruth Neely, great-grandson Aidan Neely, brother-in-law Larry Richardson and wife Louise, sisters-in-law Fayrene Miller, Frances Smith and husband Bobby, Bonnie Smith, Deanne Richardson, Suella Clark and husband Harold, Andrea Richardson, Ann Richardson, several nieces and nephews. We loved him dearly.

Robert had many friends. If you knew him, you know he was a man of many stories and great character. He was a number-one fan of the Cardinal football and basketball teams. He tried to never miss a game.

Services are scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday at First Baptist Church with Dr. Kyle Henderson officiating.

Burial will follow in Davis Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Mark Richardson, Russell Richardson, Stephen Clark, Robert Duhon, Roger Richardson, Darrell Miller and Wayne Miller.

Honorary pallbearers will be the Men’s Adult Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church.

Visitation for family and friends will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Davis Cemetery Association, P. O. Box 1991, Athens, TX 75751.

You may leave a message of condolence, or light a memorial candle for the family at

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