“Bob” Bobbie Gleen Neely, rancher, husband, father, grandfather, church-member, and friend of Santo passed peacefully at home with family by his side the morning of May 22nd, 2020 at the age of 91. Bob was born in Kirkland, Texas on October 27th, 1928. With the untimely death of his father when he was 11 months old, he moved to Santo with his mother and brother to be near his uncles and family where he saw various changes to the community over his next 90 years. Due to declining mobility over the past 10 years he had become less active in his ranch, community, church and outdoors that he passionately loved. Bob passed from complications of a stroke occurring only weeks earlier.
Bob is survived by his wife of 58 years (married May 19, 1962 in Santo), Glenda Maner-Neely, their son Leonard Neely and his wife Laurie McCoy-Neely and their Daughter Katelyn Neely (Bob’s grandchild) of Fairfax, Va. His nephews Dean Neely and Russell Neely and family, first cousins Harold Branson and family, Fred Johnston, and numerous other cousins. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Rush Edgar and Alice Neely, and brother Joe Neely.
Bob was an avid rancher as it allowed him to connect with the land and nature. He was known for raising Hereford, Angus, and later Beefmaster cattle as well as pecans. His love of wildlife was known, and he contributed to the management of the local deer, turkey, and other wildlife. He and other area ranchers contributed to the re-establishment of the area wild turkey population by limiting hunting and providing supplemental feeding to re-establish local populations. Bob respected nature and as an avid hunter he believed it was not just a sport and would often provide venison and turkeys to various families in need.
Bob had an entrepreneurial spirit that reflected his service to the Santo community. As a young boy he would mow yards, deliver papers, and worked various summer jobs including that of a Pin Setter at the Baker Hotel Bowling Alley where he met several celebrities. He also learned farming and ranching working for various area landowners.
His community service continued for over 30 years as owner/ operator of the Santo Texaco next to the former post office where he was always willing to give a polite smile or friendly conversation. Texaco was known as where you could "Always trust your car to the man that wears the star." This is where he met his wife, Glenda Maner as her few gallons of purchase each week was always topped off to a full tank while she ran next door to get the family’s mail. He also delivered ice to the residents of Santo including the railroad workers and their families. While retiring from the daily operation of the local Texaco, he ranched, worked at Southern Airways, and for over 10 years at Palo Pinto County Precinct 4.
Bob, along with the other Santo business owners and ranchers both supported and volunteered for community service. For him this included volunteering in the original Santo fire and water departments. He was often called to fight grass fires or to reset the water pump in the Palo Pinto Creek that supplied the public water tower.
His community service continued as he served as a member of the Santo School Board for over 8 years and later as its president during a period of growth and preparation for future student needs. This included two expansions of teaching facilities and the first all-weather track and field for a one-A sized school in the area.
Bob greatly enjoyed his community and had a passion for hunting, fishing, camping, supporting his church. This included a love for America and a deep respect for our troops and first responders. This spirit of admiration was born out of him being the youngest child who cared for mother while his older brother served in WW II.
His love of camping and fishing combined and became an annual vacation to Colorado where many of the local community would join in camping and enjoying fresh rainbow trout cooked over the campfires. Some years enough of the local Baptist Church would also vacation in the mountains to avoid the Texas summer that impromptu praise services were held around the campfires with fellowship, hymns, and outdoor cooking.
Bob was a servant of his Church as an active member for over 90 years as a Sunday School teacher and a leader for the Royal Ambassadors where he had the opportunity to teach many young men life skills and spiritual lessons. He attended as a boy and was baptized in the Palo Pinto Creek by the Baptist Church along with 3 others on the 12th of August 1943.
While he was able, you would find him at any Santo basketball or football game. He was a member of the booster club for many years and served has president as well as little league commissioner that included duties from baseballs to snow cones.
Funeral arrangements will be through Baum Carlock Bumgardner Funeral Home of Mineral Wells, Texas and a graveside service will be held at Santo North Cemetery at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to his local church, First Baptist Church Santo for their benevolence or food pantry funds is suggested.