Alvie Neal Wilkinson

Alvie Neal Wilkinson

September 27, 1930 — January 11, 2019

Alvie Neal Wilkinson, age 88, passed away on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, at home in Sherman, Texas. He was known as “Papa Neal” by his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Neal is survived by his wife of 42 years, Molly Abbott Wilkinson; older brother, Wynn (and Cleo) Wilkinson; and four children, Sandra Phillips, W. T. Wilkinson, Tim (and Peggy) Wilkinson, and Matt (and Alana) McNiel; nine grandchildren, Jennifer (and Jason) Vickers, Jill (and Cullen) Klingbail, Julie (and Matt) Burke, Ashley (and Chuck) Martin, Logan (and Taylor) Wilkinson, Tyler (and Hannah) Wilkinson, Evan McNiel (and Alex Vaneck), Shawn McNiel, and Sinead McNiel (and Conner Markus); and 11 great-grandchildren, Morgan Taylor, Maci Vickers, Emersyn Vickers, Kate Klingbail, Carsyn Burke, Everett Burke, Wrenly Martin, Evelyn Wilkinson, Stella Wilkinson, Pearl Wilkinson, and Jude Wilkinson. He is also survived by many other loved ones in the Wilkinson, Abbott, and Jenkins families.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Ruby Wilkinson and step-mom Phaneta Wilkinson; older brother Bill (and Margie) Wilkinson; older sister Ruby Faye (and Kenneth) Holland; and infant great-granddaughter Waverly Grace Martin.

Neal was born on Sept. 27, 1930, to Ruby Neal Elizabeth and Arthur Franklin Wilkinson in Oatmeal, Texas (Burnet County). He had three older siblings, Bill, Wynn and Ruby Faye. Neal grew up in Burnet, Texas. His mother died when he was only five years old, and his grandparents helped raise him and his older siblings until his dad later married Phaneta May Hester.

Neal attended high school in San Antonio at International Bible College where he met Netina Jenkins of Collegeport. After graduating from barber college in Austin, he married Netina in 1950, settled in Bay City and began raising their family of three kids Sandra, W.T. and Tim. He was well known in the community as proprietor of Neal’s Barber Shop.

After 20 years of barbering, Neal changed careers and ended up in Houston where he founded Coastal Landscape and Maintenance. Neal married Molly Abbott McNiel in 1976, and together they raised their son Matt McNiel and ran the landscape business. In the late 1980s, they moved to the Texas Hill Country (Marble Falls and Joppa), and ran a nursery in Austin. In later years, they moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, for a better climate. There Neal ran a donut shop, had a vending machine business, and served as a school crossing guard for 3 years and an advocate for underprivileged kids. In his twilight years, Neal and Molly lived in Sherman, Texas, near his daughter Sandra, where he served at Sherman’s Washington Elementary as a school crossing guard for two more years.

Over different stages of his life, Neal loved activities like deer and goose hunting, deep sea fishing, playing dominos, singing tenor in a church trio, landscaping, golfing, walking his dogs, rock hunting, and other outdoor activities. Neal was always a collector of things, although the target of his collecting changed over his life — from coins to clocks, antiques, rocks, and finally anything made of brass or copper. Most of all, Neal was a talker — he loved telling stories and bragging on his kids and grandkids — even to total strangers.

Neal never seemed to be afraid of anything or anybody. He was generous with what he had and gave much of it away. He had an interest in helping people down on their luck and a determination to try to correct injustice whenever he saw it — and was once deputized by the sheriff’s office to help young people stay out of trouble.

Raised by God-fearing parents and grandparents, Neal believed in God and wanted his kids and grandkids to serve God. At the time of his death, Neal and Molly were attending Sherman Bible Church. He will be missed — until we see him again in Heaven.

The family deeply appreciates the loving services of Richard Templeman N.P. and the dedicated nurses, aides, and staff at Primary Medicine for North Texas, as well as Home Hospice of Grayson County.

A private family memorial service will be held. The family suggests sending memorial contributions to Glory Bell Church (GloryBell.com) or to a local Child Protective Services.

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