BRISTOL — Agnes Mildred Ringley Neeley, age 82, of Bristol, TN, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, December 19, 2011, at Wellmont Hospice House.
She is now with her beloved husband of 61 years, Joseph Daniel (J.D.) Neeley, who preceded her in death exactly 18 months earlier.
She was born on March 15, 1929, in Bristol, Virginia, to the late Cosby Martin and Ella Pullon Ringley. Her only surviving brother is Edsel “Eddie” Ringley, of Bristol, VA. Other siblings included Marie Ringley Houser (deceased), William “Bill” Ringley (deceased) and Paul Ringley (deceased).
Agnes was the mother of two children and truly loved and adored her eight grandchildren.
She is survived by a daughter, Kristie Kirk and husband, Dwight Kirk, of Bristol, TN; a son, Mark Neeley, of Redmond, WA, and Sharon Neeley, of Richmond, VA. Grandchildren include Leah Kirk, Joseph Kirk (deceased), triplets: Thomas Kirk, Anna Kirk and Joel Kirk, Jonathan Neeley, Matthew Neeley and Erin Neeley. Several nieces and nephews affectionately knew her as Aunt Agnes.
Agnes and J.D. met October 8, 1947, were engaged June 28, 1949, and married November 19, 1949. They were high school sweethearts. J.D. was her star basketball player and Agnes, his beautiful cheerleader.
As a 1948 salutatorian graduate of Valley Institute High School, Bristol, Virginia, Agnes was awarded numerous honors in home economic presentations, projects and speeches in FHA and 4-H. Her academic accolades include the National Honor Society/Beta Club. In her senior year of high school she was the only female selected as the National 4-H Congress Delegate to Washington, D.C., from Washington County, Virginia.
She and her father were also active officers and members of Washington County, VA, Democrats. Her continuous strive for academic excellence and perfection awarded her a college scholarship opportunity.
She was a lifelong Christian, accepting Christ as Savior and Lord early in her life, always thinking of others before herself; a sweet, gentle, loving spirit — quick to give loving embraces and talk to anyone she met, making an instant friend. She never knew a stranger and could lead a person to Christ with her witness to others about her Savior, discuss topics ranging from politics to religion with impeccable wit, and always maintain a candid sense of humor.
Agnes spent her life as a compassionate giver — a homemaker, stay at home mother, grandmother, and devoted pastor’s wife in the churches of the Lebanon, Holston and Watauga Associations of Southern Baptists in Virginia and Tennessee with her husband. Agnes’ benevolent acts of kindness to others included phone calls, cards and letters of encouragements to the shut in, the sick and the bereaved.
She always strived to arrive at the church on time and was usually the last to leave, making sure everyone else’s needs were met before her own. She sang in the choir weekly, taught Sunday School classes (toddler to adults), directed and taught VBS for children each summer and organized WMU foreign mission work activities because her true passion to support Southern Baptist home and foreign missions.
Some of her happiest moments were the preparations of meals for family, friends and those with special needs. Harvesting and preserving the bountiful harvest from her and her husband’s vegetable and fruit gardens was a seasonal and joyful hobby for her. These nurturing and caring traits were also seen in her beautiful and always lavishing, garden flowers; especially her Jerusalem plants.
Special thanks for the love and care shown to Agnes from loving caregivers, Linda Johnson (Bristol), Connie Johnson (Piney Flats), Iva Walker (Bluff City), Charlie Helton (Kingsport), 2nd and 4th floor nurses and staff at Bristol Regional Medical Center, 2nd floor rehab at NHC-Bristol, 3rd floor nurses and staff at Holston Valley Medical Center, Wellmont Hospice House, Dr. David Thompson, Dr. Earl Wilson and Dr. Laura Cunnington.
Her Christian life celebration will be conducted at 7:00 P.M. Thursday, December 22, 2011, at Akard Funeral Home with Dr. Clay Austin and Rev. Timothy Adkins officiating.
The committal service and interment will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. Friday at Glenwood Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 P.M., prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like gifts to be made to the Lottie Moon Missions, ℅ First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 587, Blountville, TN 37617; Kingsway Baptist Church, 1999 Long Crescent Dr., Bristol, VA 24201; or Snow Memorial Baptist Church, 2201 Knob Creek Rd., Johnson City, TN 37604.
Email condolences may be sent to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Akard Funeral Home, 1912 W. State St., Bristol, TN (423) 989-4800 is serving the family of Mrs. Neeley.