Mrs. Janie Mae Smallwood McNeil, 83, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at Bolivar Medical Center Long Term Care. Visitation will be 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at Ray Funeral Home. Celebration of Life Services will immediately follow beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at Ray Funeral Home with Brother Clarence Edwards and Brother Jeremy Funderburk officiating. Interment will be in New Cleveland Cemetery.
Janie was born in McIntyre, GA on June 13, 1934, to Jay and Edna Smallwood. She attended and graduated from Gordon Consolidate High School in Gordon, GA. She then joined the U.S. Army in Fort Jackson, SC where she met her husband SFC Stanley McNeil. They were married at the Hospital U.S. Army Chapel on November 20, 1955, and they were married for more than 62 years. During her husband’s Military service, her and her family lived for over three years in Japan. After 20 years in the Army upon retirement, they returned home to Boyle, MS in 1971. They then built their home on Highway 61 South and have lived and raised 5 children there.
As a child, Janie took care of her baby brother while the rest of the family was in the field sharecropping. She was an expert cook who started cooking as a child, and was especially known for her famous biscuits. As a follower of Christ, Janie was a member of Boyle Baptist Church, and was a true example of a Godly woman who loved her family and children dearly.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Edna Crawford and Jay Smallwood; and two sons, Willis and Donald McNeil.
Janie is survived by her husband, Stanley “Mac” McNeil of Boyle; and daughters, Gay Salley (James) of Boyle and Lisa Helton (“Red”) of Leaksville; son, Claude McNeil of Boyle; grandchildren, Amber Womack of Houston, TX and Ashley Vanderford of Laurel; five great-grandchildren; and sisters, Annie Polites of Virginia and J-Ree Birely of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The family asks that donations in honor of Mrs. Janie McNeil be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.