James Call McNeely, Jr. , age 73, was born December 22, 1947, in Fort Riley, Kansas. He was a life-long resident of Vidor where he graduated with the class of 1967 and where he chose to raise his family.
Left to cherish his memory is his beloved wife of 54 years, Peggy Ann McNeely; his son, James Jacob McNeely and wife Gidget; his daughters, Tracy Lynn Marlow and husband, DK; Erin Sue Wood and husband Mark; and Morgan Lee Matzner and husband Jason; his brothers Jonathan McNeely, Mark “Buck” Kelley and Billy Gene Kelley; his sister Dee Ann Jackson; his grandchildren, Madelynn “Maddie” Brown and husband Zach; Hannah Marlow, Jacob Marlow, Mark Isaac Wood, Reagan McNeely, Deborah McNeely, Justin McNeely, Crystal Ann Dixon and husband David; Abigail Sonnier; his great-grandchildren, Bayleigh, Luci Ann, Freya and Atlas, who is due this month. Also Becky Ardis, whom he loved like a sister, and his best fur baby, Teddy Girl.
James was proceeded in death by his parents, James Call McNeely, Sr., and LaVelva Goines Kelley; his sisters Debra Kent and Jeannine Skolnick; and his best friend, his cousin, whom he loved like a brother, Kenneth Ardis.
James served honorably in the United States Army Signal Corps and worked on cryptographic machinery while serving a year of active duty in Viet Nam. This time of service was a very significant part of his life and very much influenced the man he became. James was known to never back down from a fight and would always take up for the ‘underdog’. He was quick on his feet, even quicker witted and always had some incredibly hilarious, ‘TRUE,’ story to tell….because a McNeely could NEVER tell a lie.
James was nicknamed “Jive” by his coworkers at Temple/Mead Westvaco either because of his ‘jive’ talk or his ‘jive’ walk. This is where he demonstrated his strong work ethic by selling every holiday and vacation to provide for his family. He was a loyal employee and started working here before he enlisted in the Army, returning home to this job as a Journeyman Millwright. He retired after 39 ½ years to focus on hunting, fishing and front porch sitting where he could be found with his furry companion, Teddy Girl.
He loved to go down to the beach to fish at roll-over-pass with his family and nap until the fish would start biting. And he could not pass roll-over without stopping to talk to EVERY fisherman and find out what kind of luck they were having and what bait they were using. He was a friend to everyone he met.
James believed that his greatest accomplishment was his family. He was introduced to his wife, Peggy, on a blind date and they ‘went together’ for a year before they were engaged and married in his wife’s family home. They were able to make some precious memories together, especially when he was able to meet up with her in Hawaii, during R and R in the Christmas of ’69. Soon after, they started their family together. Four children, four grafted-in children, nine grandchildren, thee great grandchildren and one on the way. James was a kindhearted man that was not always big on showing emotion, but his love for his family was fierce.
James found great value in small things. He was a VERY sentimental man and had trouble letting go of “things.” But on August 31,2021 at 3:07pm, James Call McNeely, Jr. released his grip on the fragile “things” of this world and peacefully slipped his hand into The nail scarred ones of his Savior.
Serving as pallbearers will be Bo McNeely, DK Marlow, Mark Wood, Jason Matzner, Jacob Marlow, Zach Brown, and David Dixon. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Justin McNeely and Mark Isaac Wood.
A time of visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday, September 9, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Vidor, 350 N Main St. Vidor, TX 77662. James’s celebration of life will be held on Friday, September 10, 2021 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Vidor, 350 N Main St. Vidor, TX 77662.
In lieu of flowers the family would like you to donate to the First Baptist Church of Vidor building fund.
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