Janette Alice McNeal (1943 - 2017)

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Janette Alice McNeal, age 74, of Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming and Yuma, Arizona, passed away from respiratory failure on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 at St. Joseph's Hospital Intensive Care Unit in Phoenix, Arizona.

Janette was embraced by her husband of 53 years, their three adult children, her twin sister, their eldest grandchild, and their youngest great-grand child as she rested under the cover of her final Christmas gift, a plush blanket inscribed with the names and birth dates of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

On April 16,1943 Janette and her twin sister Janice were born to DeLonne and Hale Ebling in Moscow, Idaho. As young children the twins lived briefly in Troy, Idaho but were raised in nearby Deary, Idaho. They attended Deary public schools and graduated from Deary High School in 1961 among a class of just 15 students. After high school both earned degrees in cosmetology from The College of Hairdressing and Beauty in Moscow. They went on to work together at a salon in Moscow.

Janette met Ken McNeal while he was attending the University of Idaho and she worked in the salon. Ken and Janette were married on Aug. 8, 1964 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Moscow. Marriage with Ken meant a choice to travel and live wherever his employer, Peter Kiewit Sons Company took them, or to make a home in one place while Ken met his assignments all over the Intermountain West. It was an easy decision for Janette because she knew she'd rather move frequently than make a home and be alone much of the time. They set off on their nomadic new life together. In each new place Janette displayed a pine wood plaque burned with the idiom, "Home Is Where the Heart Is."

In 1965 their first child, a son, Carey, was born in Twin Falls, Idaho while they were living and working in Jerome, Idaho. One year and 19 days later, in 1966, they celebrated their second child, a daughter, Corrie, born in Boise, Idaho while they lived and worked in Nampa, Idaho. In ten years' time and many more small-town moves, their third child, Jennifer, was born in 1976 at Rawlins, Wyoming while they lived and worked in the remote coal mining town of Hanna, Wyoming.

Janette dedicated her life to her family which meant her cosmetology practice, after working here and there in the small towns along the way, would be limited to Ken, the kids, and an occasional friend. Photos of Ken with a "perm" are among the favorite family memories.

Janette was preceded in death by her parents Hale Ebling, followed by her mother, DeLonne Ebling-Davis, and then by stepfather, Emmert Davis. The loss of her grandson, Connor Spear three years ago saddened her deeply.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Ken McNeal; her twin sister Janice Reger (Doug) of Soldotna; her son, Carey McNeal (Daphne) of Boise, Idaho; daughter Corrie Legesse (Joseph) of Allen, Texas; daughter Jennifer DaSilva of Richardson, Texas; grandchildren Amanda, Riley, Tylyn, Natalie, DJ, Zane, Lila, Ruby; and great-grandchildren Jace, Kade, Tyson, and Owen.

A celebration of Janette's life will be held in the summer of 2018 at Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming, on a date and time to be announced later. She did not like funerals but she did love parties.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Animal Humane Association of Star Valley http://ahasv.org/luckys_place_donate.html or a .
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Published in The Peninsula Clarion on Jan. 3, 2018