Helen Louise Neel, 98, of Kearney, formerly of Gothenburg, Nebraska, died October 22, 2019 at the Mother Hull Home in Kearney, NE.
Helen was born at Cozad on November 11, 1920 to Percy and Laura (Mundell) Hines and raised south of Gothenburg. She attended Banner grade school and graduated from Gothenburg High School in 1939. During her high school years she worked at the bakery and telephone office. While working as a telephone operator in McCook, she met Billie Neel and they married on June 7, 1944. The couple moved to Alaska and various other posts during the war and later returned to Gothenburg. They had five children - Sharon Lynn, Douglas, Kathleen, Peggy and Patricia.
Helen was first and foremost a mother and homemaker, though she did work at several jobs thru the years. She worked at Schriver's Market and became the office manager for Neel's Custom Floors and Draperies. In 1973, Helen earned her Associates Degree in Interior Design. She was a member of the Evening Circle and was a member and past president of the American Legion Auxiliary. Helen attended Banner Methodist Church as a child, and later was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Gothenburg.
Helen and Billie enjoyed square dancing, attending the Mariners Club, camping, and playing cards with friends. She participated in many bridge groups, led sing along at the nursing home, and was a Girl Scout Leader. She loved refinishing furniture, collecting antiques, and doing needlepoint. Helen enjoyed fitness classes and in her 80s and 90s was proud of walking up to three miles every day. She moved to Kearney to be closer to her family and cherished of her visits with the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. She especially enjoyed the games, fitness activities, and crafts that were offered at Mother Hull Home where she resided.
Surviving are son, Douglas Neel of Honolulu, HI, three daughters, Kathleen Neel of Kearney; Peggy (Mark) Keiser of Juniata; Patricia (Randy) Solomon of Kearney; seven grandchildren Christi Koester of Lincoln, NE, Todd (Jami Koester of Kearney, NE, Katie (C.J.) Hash of Centerville, IA, Kent (Laurie) Keiser of Lincoln, NE, Neel (Angela) Keiser of Kenesaw, NE, Sarah Solomon of Grand Island, NE, and Beth (Eric) Rosenthal of Kearney, NE; 14 great-grandchildren, sister-in-law, Doris Hines of Lincoln, NE, along with many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband Billie, infant daughter Sharon Lynn, her parents Percy and Laura Hines, sisters, Dorothy (Oscar) Anderson, Anna Mae (Franklin) Wahlgren, brothers, Arthur (Mildred) Hines, and Johnny Hines.
Memorial services will be held at Presbyterian Church, 1020 Lake Ave, Gothenburg, NE on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11:00 am with Rev. David Boyd officiating.
Interment will follow in the Peckham Cemetery
Memorials may be given to the First Presbyterian Church 1020 Lake Ave, Gothenburg, NE 69138
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