Lakewood Funeral Chapel
98 North Dixie Drive
Lake Jackson, TX  77566
Friday, May 31, 2024
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Funeral Service
Lakewood Funeral Chapel
98 North Dixie Drive
Lake Jackson, TX  77566
Friday, May 31, 2024
Map & Directions  Map & Directions

Send Flowers Send Flowers

Mary "Molly" Elizabeth Neel

of Lake Jackson, TX

November 28, 1926 - May 23, 2024

  • Obituary
  • Guestbook
Mary (Molly) Elizabeth Willy Neel departed this world to join the Lord on May 23, 2024 at the age of 97. Molly was born in Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico on November 28, 1926 in an American colony encompassing 500,000 acres on the Tuxpan river. The colony was established in 1867 by her grandfather and other Confederates following the Civil War when they could no longer stand living in Texas under Reconstruction.

Molly told amazing stories of her childhood growing up in what they called Chomotla. These included tales of her family's interaction with Pancho Villa. Unfortunately, Molly's mother died when she was only 10 years old. Two years later, the Mexican government confiscated most of their land when they refused to become Mexican citizens. This sparked Molly's father to move her and her three brothers back to Texas to the site of their old plantation on Bailey's Prairie.

The Collins plantation had been established by her grandfather in 1840 when Texas was a Republic. Molly's father never remarried, and it was left up to her to care for him and her brothers until her older sister returned some years later. Without a mother, Molly had to learn and overcome a lot of obstacles on her own. One thing she accomplished was becoming an outstanding cook. Her dishes were in high demand at all the family gatherings until she decided to stop cooking when she was in her 90's.

When Molly arrived in Texas in 1938, she only spoke Spanish. However, she quickly learned English and excelled to the point of becoming Valedictorian of her high school class in Angleton. She also excelled at tennis and basketball in high school. Just weeks before her high school graduation, Molly married Homer Neel. Shortly after their marriage, they settled in Lake Jackson and Homer went to work for Dow. Soon the children began arriving, and they totaled five boys and one girl. Molly had her hands full with all the children and their friends over at any given time.

Many could rightfully argue that Homer was the biggest child. The dart gun, bow and arrow battles with yells of ''aim for his bald spot'' and the upending of all the furniture in the house were legendary. Whether it was the cigar box full of lizards left in the kitchen, the duck or bullfrog in the pocket for her to find or the firecrackers lobbed in the bathroom while she was in the shower, Molly was almost always the recipient of the frequent pranks from her children, her husband and even her brothers. She handled it all with the grace and disposition of a saint and somehow nurtured all her children to success.

She also managed to continue her own education amid all the turmoil by taking night classes at Alvin Community College and the University of Houston. She obtained her teaching degree and began her career at Lake Jackson Intermediate School. She taught seventh grade Texas history and sometimes substituted teaching Spanish. She loved her students and continued to hear from many of them for the rest of her life.

She retired from teaching in 1986, shortly after her husband retired from Dow. Together they enjoyed a long retirement of traveling, fishing and taking care of their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They had been married for 67 years at the time of Homer's passing in 2015. Molly became Granny to so many more people than just her grandchildren. A woman of so many talents, her incredible prowess at knitting and crocheting has produced heirlooms that will be cherished for generations.

Molly was preceded in death by her husband, Homer Tommy Lee Neel, her oldest son, Tommy Lee Neel, MD, her sister Mary Ione Thompson and her brothers Frederic and Anthony Willy. She is survived by her brother, Lewis Willy (Patricia). She is also survived by her children, Robert Frederick Neel (Marcia), Richard Lewis Neel, MD (Marisa), Michael Anthony Neel (Rhonda), Susan Elizabeth Haydel (Ronnie), and Duane Roland Neel (Susan). She is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held at Lakewood Funeral Chapel (98 Dixie Drive) in Lake Jackson, Texas at 2:30 pm on Friday, May31st. The burial service will be on Saturday, June 1st at 1:00 pm at the Angleton Cemetery (328 Cemetery Road, Angleton, TX).

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3 Condolence(s)
Patrick Dowlen
Sweeny, TX
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Growing up in Lake Jackson I had the honor to have Mrs Neel teaching me Spanish . There was a couple of things I remembered her. A song in Spanish that I remember
Her "contagious smile and how much she loved kids

Jesse and Candy Encarnacion
Englewood, NJ
Friday, May 31, 2024

As long as you live, your loved one will live on through you.

Our condolences as you grieve.

Terrie Hudzietz
Lake Jackson, TX
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

What a treasured neighbor you were since 1993. Always remembering us when your lemon and grapefruit trees started producing. Your lemons were the best and I will miss my fresh squeezed lemonade I made from them. You watched my girls grow up and then my granddaughters. They loved you so much as I did too. They still have the dollar coins you would give them for their birthdays.
We are all be sad that you have gone to heaven, but oh what great company you are meeting up with that arrived before you. Give my David a big hug.
All our love, Terrie,Torey, Nikki, Tatym, and Raegan Hudzietz