Icy Lee Lewis Neel
May 11, 1928 – January 14, 2019
Icy Lee Lewis Neel passed away quietly in Mobile, Alabama on January 14, 2020 surrounded by family. She was born on May 11, 1928, the fourth of sixteen children to Jordan and Jessie Lee Hillman Lewis at their farm in Neely, Mississippi. Icy Lee grew up working along side her brothers and sisters working on the farm, picking cotton, milking cows, helping in the garden, and caring for her younger siblings. Always a hard worker and caring sister, Icy Lee would quickly finish her row, pick a few scuppernongs, then help the younger ones finish their row. She married and moved to Mobile but remained devoted to her parents and siblings, visiting and speaking of them often all through her illness til death did she part. Toward the end of WWII, she moved to Mobile where she met her husband, William (Bill) Carroll Neel who wooed her with his good looks and keen intellect. He gave her a wink, and she winked back. They had two daughters whom she loved deeply, Yvonne Neel Holladay married to Timothy Floyd Holladay, and Ginger Pearson. Icy Lee was a talented seamstress who sewed countless dresses for her children and grandchildren. She always had a garden, loved bird watching, traveled many a “pig trail” far and near, and did lots of babysitting when the grands came along. Needless to say, they loved her dearly. She also worked for Sears Roebuck & Co. for nearly 40 years, becoming the first local female manager in the service department. She was well respected by customers and coworkers. Her husband, her parents, and her precious grandson, William Conrad Jackson, preceded Icy Lee in death. She is survived by her two daughters and grandchildren: Yvonne and Ginger, John Ross Holladay, Tessa Jackson Godwin, and Catherine Lee Holladay Vernon. She leaves behind 5 great grandchildren: Logan Tate Godwin, Taylor Delaney Godwin, Tyndal Sage Godwin, Katie Rose Vernon, and Annabelle Lee Vernon. She has 10 remaining siblings and ever-so-many-we’ve-lost-count cousins, nieces, and nephews. The family wishes to give special thanks to dear family and friends who supported her and us through her life’s journey. We are deeply grateful to the caretakers who have become like family as a result of their tender care and devotion to Icy Lee over the last 4 years. We have been enormously blessed by Debbie Sigler, Geraldine Harris, Linda Mozingo Murphy, and others. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you love more, forgive one another, be kinder and more generous. Honor your parents, your family, your friends, and one another. Be thankful – we are – for the life of our mom, our extended family, and our friends. Thanks be to God. If, however, you do wish to leave a remembrance, consider sending one to St. Elmo First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 159, St. Elmo, AL 36568. There will be a service in remembrance on Sunday, January 19th at Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home on Three Notch Road at 2 pm. Visitation is at 1:00 pm. Memorials may be made at www.mobilefuneralservice.com.
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