Mary Avanell Laxton, age 94 of Springfield, MO, formerly a resident of Pleasant Hope and Bolivar, passed away Thursday, November 14, 2019, at the Woodland Manor Springfield, MO. She was born January 8, 1925, in Bolivar, MO, to Roma and Elsie Mae (Stewart) Neal. She was saved at the young age of 15.
The majority of Mary’s life was lived in Greene and Polk County, but she did spend some time in Kansas City, California and Illinois in her younger years. Mary was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need and worked hard the majority of her life. Being the oldest of twelve children she learned early on how to be a nurturing care giver and was a big help to her father Roma, who always called her Jim.
When a family member was ill, she would go to their house to take care of them or bring them to her house until they were well. If a family reunion was being planned, she was involved and always brought lots of good food to share with everyone. Mary really enjoyed taking care of her many generations of grandchildren and shared with them her love of camping and fishing. Some might say that she had a green thumb too, because she always had beautiful rose bushes, peonies and other flowers.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband Paul Laxton; two sons: an infant son Harry Eugene Stalker, and Roy Lee Stalker; five brothers: an infant brother, Billy Dale Neal, Archie Neal, Sterling Hill, and David Hill; and two sisters: Myrle Dean Purdy, and Juanita Mincks.
Mary is survived by one daughter Beverley F. Watson-Long of Springfield, MO; a daughter in-law Darlene Stalker of Chillicothe, IL; four grandchildren: Mary Jackson and husband Steve of Springfield, MO, Brent Watson and wife Anita of Willard, MO, Lee Watson of Willard, MO, and Taunya Humbracht and husband Dan of Chillicothe, IL; nine great grandchildren, 13 great great grandchildren, and three great great great grandchildren; a brother Don Neal of Bolivar, MO; three sisters: Mary Jane Cantwell and JoElla Ashlock both of Bolivar, MO, and Shirley Beth Pate and husband JC of Stockton, MO; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
There will be a visitation will be held Sunday, November 17, 2019, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at Pitts Chapel. Funeral services will be held Monday, November 18, 2019, at 10:00 AM in the funeral home with Pastor Tom Maples officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Olive Cemetery Bolivar, MO.
Online condolences may be made at: www.greenlawnfuneralhome.com. Memorial contributions may be made to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. Arrangements have been entrusted to Pitts Chapel Bolivar, MO.
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