Willard Neeley, 76, of Rensselaer, passed away Sunday, January 15, 2017 at his home. He was born in Salyersville, KY on May 24, 1940, the son of Willis and Susie (Bailey) Neeley. Willard spent most of his life in Jasper County, and had been a resident of Rensselaer for over 50 years.
On July 27, 1960, in Rensselaer, he married Vera S. Perkins. She preceded him in death on February 23, 2003.
Willard was a welder. He worked at Thrall Car Manufacturing in Chicago Heights, IL, Sealy Springs and retired from Talbert Manufacturing in 2003.
Willard was a member of Victory Baptist Church in Roselawn. His passion was gardening. He had a huge garden in his back yard every year and grew over 100 tomato plants, selling the produce. He enjoyed visiting and drinking coffee with his friends and neighbors. He also enjoyed attending car shows and showing his red 1971 Nova.
On September 12, 2005, in DeMotte, he married Frances L. Struble, and she survives. In addition to his wife he is survived by five step-children: Harley Struble of Rensselaer, David (Tammy) Struble of Rensselaer, Melissa (Daniel) Schmidt of Eldorado, IL, William (Karen) Struble of DeMotte, and Mark Struble of Rensselaer; 11 step-grandchildren; 6 step great-grandchildren; one brother, Robert (Charlotte) Neeley of Rensselaer; five sisters: Mildren (Clyde) Lane of Wheatfield, Polly (Tony) Cooper of Monticello, Mabel (Donnie) Oliver of DeMotte, Sally Pigg of DeMotte, and Lena (Chili) Prater of DeMotte.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; his first wife Vera; and two brothers, James and Ronald.
Visitation will be Friday, January 20, 2017 from 4-8 p.m. (CST) at Steinke Funeral Home of Rensselaer. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Steinke Funeral Home of Rensselaer with Pastor Ballard Lewis officiating. Interment will be at Weston Cemetery at a later date. Share memories and condolences online at www.SteinkeFuneralHome.com.