Life Epitaph of Evelyn “Jo”Yce Neal
A Woman, Lady, Wife, Mother, Grand-Mother & Friend: Evelyn Joyce Neal, born May 30, 1955 in Palestine, Texas to the parentage of Averitt Phillips & the late Annie Anderson. Evelyn professed a real, true belief and faith in GOD during her early childhood under the Christian doctrine and tutelage of her home church: Friendship Baptist Church in Yard, Texas. Evelyn’s academic education was guided by the Cayuga High School in Tennessee Colony, Texas where she graduated at the top of her senior class.
Upon completion of her studies, Evelyn was intentional on finding work to help contribute around her family home under the loving eye of her Grand-Mother, Mrs. Lillie Bell Williams who has already gone to be with the Lord. During this time Evelyn was blessed to birth a son, Isaac Phillips.
Evelyn decided she wanted to pursue an even greater life outside of Tennessee Colony, so she moved to the City of Dallas with her aunt, Idella Franklin who was apart of a well known gospel singing quarter. While adjusting to life in Dallas, still working wherever she could and always attending church, it was there, that she caught “The Eye” of the late, Rev. B.B. Neal, II. After he saw and introduced himself to her, she played coy for a little bit, but she was in awe of watching him direct the New El Bethel Church Choir and once he started singing, THAT WAS ALL SHE WROTE!
The two were blessed to unite in holy matrimony, June 17, 1973. By the year 1974, the Neal union began to create a family of their own, with Evelyn giving birth to 6 children: Br’Von, Tia, Elliott, Michael, Jesse and The Favorite: Tiffany. Evelyn was a compassionate and loving mother, rearing all of her kids in the admonition of GOD and always encouraging them to do their best and saying often “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, FIND SOME SUGAR, AND MAKE SOME LEMONADE!”
While raising her kids and maintaining her family through up’s and downs and challenges of earthly life, even after passing of her husband in 2004, Evelyn still worked in the church faithfully, with the youth, and even outside of the church getting more involved in her community and in social justice. Evelyn was a staunch and proud democrat. One of her fondest moments was when Beto O’Rourke rang her home doorbell, he wasn’t trying to come in, he just wanted to introduce himself (as Politicians do), but she insisted he come into her living room to sit and talk, and he did. Evelyn was proud of the off springs of her body, watching them grow to create lives of their own. She often looked forward to her vacations to West Palm Beach, Florida and to New York City because it gave her more things to brag about. Her loyalty and dedication wasn’t only confined to the church, but was exemplified in her professional work ethic and pleasant demeanor. After retiring from the Thompson & Knight Law Firm, LLC, where she worked faithfully and dutifully many years, life introduced some unforeseen health challenges in which Evelyn took on COURAGEOUSLY!!!
Yes, there were days of pain and sometimes where she was withdrawn, she did the best she could to keep living on HER terms, when she didn’t like something or didn’t want to do something SHE LET IT BE KNOWN! Evelyn didn’t like to be inconvenienced in any way no matter WHO OR WHAT!!!
After spending some time in the hospital, the caring medical team of UT Southwestern along with the family, decided to bring Evelyn home to a familiar place surrounded by family and most of all LOVE to await THE FINAL CALL of GOD! It was in the morning, as scripture was read in her ear, of Monday, December 26th, the day after Christmas, which GOD gave us Jesus, that perhaps, he felt he needed to replace the vacancy, with an ANGEL, so he beckoned for Evelyn to return to Angelic form to watch over and guide her family from heaven.
Until we go there, carrying on her unforgettable memories and legacy are her blessed children: Isaac (Shumonn) Phillips, Sr.; Br’Von, Tia, Elliott, Michael, Jesse and Tiffany Neal; grandchildren, Alexandria, Nicholas, Miziah, Micah, Alayah, Hannah, Isaac Jr., Desiree and Destiny; great-grandchildren, Asiah, Jamarian, Naomi, Kyrie; sisters, Shelia (proceeded in death), Lorraine and Reney Anderson; brothers, Van, Eric and James Anderson; uncles, Jerry and James Williams; her numerous nieces and nephews, god-daughter, Eddriana Hudson, along with many special friends and acquaintances.
Remember: “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, GRAB SOME SUGAR, AND MAKE LEMONADE!!!”