Jeannie Neeley

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  • "When i first met Jeannie, she was a complete stranger to..."
    - heather c
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INDEPENDENCE – Jeannie Neeley, resident of Independence, Iowa, died following a lengthy battle with lymphoblastic leukemia on April 1, 2010 at the Buchanan County Health Center. She was 61. Jeannie was born May 8, 1948, in Shidler, Okla. She was the daughter of Gilbert and Helen (Bertling) Rhodes. She grew up in Osage County, Oklahoma, and graduated from Shidler High School in 1966 and from Oklahoma State University in 1970 with a degree in Education. She and Bruce Neeley were married November 29, 1980, in Arlington, Texas. She, Bruce and their daughter, Andrea, moved to Independence in August 1991. She was an active member of Hope Wesleyan Church, where she sang in the choir and lead youth programs. She founded and nurtured the Independence Mentoring Program as a ministry to the children and mentors of the Independence Community Schools (ICS). She was passionate about helping children and promoting education. Those passions lead her to a rich career in volunteerism in the political action committee, People 4 Progress; PEO; ICS PTA and the ICS Superintendent's Advisory Council. She is survived by her husband Bruce, their daughter Andrea, and son-in-law Daniel Elnecave. She is also survived by her mother Helen Rhodes of Shidler, Oklahoma, her sister Vi Harmon of Ponca City, Okla., numerous nieces and nephews, those of her church family and beloved friends. Preceding her in death were her father, Gilbert Rhodes, and sister RaMona Collins. There will be a Celebration of Life Service held at the Hope Wesleyan Church, in Independence at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning. Preceding the service there will be a gathering of friends and family at the church starting at 10 a.m.. A barbeque luncheon at Bill's Steakhouse will follow the service with all invited. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Independence Dollars for Scholars, Jeannie Neeley Mentoring Scholarships for former mentoring students. The Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory of Independence is in charge of arrangements. Go to under obituaries. Visit our guestbook at
Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Apr. 5 to Apr. 8, 2010