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James Lawrence Neal

Thursday, August 29, 2019
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James Lawrence Neal died peacefully in Amarillo, Texas on Aug. 17, 2019, at the age of 96.

Jim is survived by his children and grandchildren: one son, Phillip, and wife Laura Neal of Amarillo and their children, Darian, husband JJ, and son Dominic Chavez of Hawaii, and son Chris, wife Sterling, and daughter Kennedy of San Antonio, Texas; daughter Paula and husband, Terry Wilson, of Norman, Oklahoma, and their children, Neal Wilson and his daughters, Shanna and Whitney, and son, Kolby, of Norman, William Wilson of Del City, Oklahoma and Travis Jernigan of Del City; daughter Patty and husband, Mike Cadenhead, of Heath, Ohio, and their children, Russ and Kristi Cadenhead, and their daughters Nikki and Caitlyn Annarino of Heath and son Brian Cadenhead. Jim is preceded in death by his wife, Aline, and sister Florence Pearson-Sussek.

Jim was born on March 27, 1923, in Weeks, Arkansas to Paul and Jessie Neal. He graduated from Redlands High School in Redlands, California. After serving his country in World War II, he married Faye Aline Ball, his lifelong sweetheart, on Nov. 6, 1948, in Spur, Texas. They made their home in Redlands, where Jim began working for the Department of Defense as an aircraft mechanic. They welcomed their three children into their home, and Jim and Aline set about teaching them life’s lessons. His children remember him as a kind, gentle and patient but deeply determined father, who encouraged them to pursue their goals.

Jim was accomplished at all phases of mechanical work and carpentry and actually built the family home in Arkansas by hand with the help of a couple of relatives. He was a generous and dedicated individual, loved his Christian life and family, celebrated his religious upbringing and was passionate about teaching that to his children and carrying those beliefs on through the generations. He was an active and dedicated member of the Church of Christ at many locations and often volunteered as preacher, song leader and Sunday school teacher.

A funeral, under the direction of Zapata Funeral Home, was scheduled for Aug. 24, 2019, at the Church of Christ in Spur. Pastor Michael Chase officiated the ceremony. All were welcomed to attend and celebrate Jim’s life. Condolences can be sent to The family would like to thank the Amarillo Veterans Administration Hospital and hospice staff for their efforts in Jim’s care.