Barbara Jean Neal was born on February 6, 1939 in Fort Wayne, IN. She was raised by her parents, William and Gwendolyn, along with two sisters, Rose M. Hill and Iris Y. Wade, and one brother, Carlos (Popsi) Fitzhugh. She accepted Christ at a young age at Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church. When Mount Olive Baptist and Greater Mount Olive Baptist Churches merged in the late 1940’s to become Union Baptist Church, her membership moved accordingly. She remained a member for several years and recently joined The Light of Life Church in Sugar Land, TX under the leadership of her son-in-law, Pastor Lance Guess. She attended Central High School while growing up in Fort Wayne and has maintained close relationships with several of her childhood friends throughout the years.
Barbara Jean or Jeanie, as she was affectionately known, gave birth to her oldest child, Franklin L. Robinson, on December 9, 1955. On May 8, 1965 she married her husband of seventeen years, Ellis R. Neal. To this union was born a daughter, DaLana C. Neal Guess, on December 16, 1970. Throughout the years, Jeanie has lived in several places in the country and abroad. She has worked in various capacities with Fort Wayne State School, Joslyn Steel Mill and Wayne Township Trustee Office. She dedicated her time to two organizations that were near and dear to her heart – Order of the Eastern Star and Fraternal Order of Eagles. Over time, she also developed a passion for bowling, bingo, and family game nights.
Barbara Jean was very special to people in her life. She was a “mother” to many of her daughter’s friends and was lovingly known as “Momma Neal”. Her humor and matter of fact personality was magnetic and unforgettable. She was a generous soul who took excellent care of her family and was a true example of what a mother should be. She was truly a giver. Barbara Jean was always willing to give her last to ensure that others had what they needed. You could find her many days watching her favorite cowboy movies.
She was preceded in death by her parents William and Gwendolyn, her sisters Rose M. Hill and Iris Y. Wade, her brother Carlos (Popsi) Fitzhugh, and her former husband, Ellis R. Neal who passed 6 days prior to her departure.
Barbara Jean leaves to cherish her memory, her son Franklin L. Robinson (Kathy), her daughter DaLana C. Neal Guess (Lance), her brothers William Robinson III (Genice), Bryan Fitzhugh, and Dale Fitzhugh, her sisters Joyce McKinley and Gale Harris (Jimmy), grandchildren – Travis Robinson (Jessica), Ranika Robinson, DaiShon Neal, Aisha Guess, Ashley Guess, and Kaylie Guess, great-grandchildren – Amiyah, Kiylah, Aiden, Leila, Grayson, Jaylon and Jeremiah , a host of nieces and nephews and life long friends – Ellen Watson, Loretta Moore, Vandetta Starnes, and Bonnie Webb.
She departed this life on April 14, 2021 peacefully in her home surrounded by family and loved ones.
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