Life is made up of two dates and a dash – she made the most of her dash. She was not a life master in bridge…but a consummate master of life.
In keeping with her family’s wishes, there will not be a formal memorial service as her farewell tour was celebrated with family and friends on her 100th birthday. You can honor her memory by placing your hand over your heart for our National Anthem especially when the Dallas Cowboys are playing; by rooting for Dallas golfer, Jordan Spieth, to find his winning mojo again, by teaching someone the art of duplicate bridge and square dancing, by walking in the shoes of a friend, by trusting in the goodness of mankind, by sharing a Hershey’s chocolate bar…or anything chocolate for that matter…and by making the most of your own dash. Her ashes will be spread at her favorite “fishing spot.” Online condolences may be made at www.tomlinsonfuneral.com.
Doris, the youngest of eleven children born in Farmersville to William Franklin and Era Ann (Denham) Billingsly, was preceded in death by her parents, six brothers, four sisters and husband James (Jim) Rodney Neathery after sixty years of marriage. She not only was a change of life baby, but she survived unscathed when the family’s pet bull gored her mother, eight months pregnant at the time, in the stomach. This explains a lot.
Doris didn’t just visit this world she spent the majority of her 36,732 days recognizing a better way of doing things and taking charge to implement those ideas. She was the secretary to Dallas’ fashion chief, Justin McCarty, one of the pioneers of a distinctive line of ladies’ sportswear, modeling in a show at the Adolphus Hotel.
She won a singing contest sponsored by KRLD radio, her prize – twin beds, a welcome present for her two sons. She was the executive secretary to Austin N. Stanton, President of Garland’s Varo Manufacturing, a sixty-million dollar per year international firm, until she retired to Cedar Creek Lake in the late 1960’s. Mr. Stanton was the inventor of microcircuitry, the precursor to the computer age, was involved with timing devices for space vehicles, and development of the night-vision telescope to name a few. As part of experiencing the cutting-edge technology she did embrace the new wave of computers…with the cure-all fix for everything that goes wrong – reboot until it works.
Thirty-one years ago, she became a director starting her twenty-one year career with the Mid-Cities Duplicate Bridge Club that originally met a St. Jude’s Catholic Church before moving to the bridge studio at Cedar Creek in 2003 where she ran the Monday and Wednesday morning games until retiring in 2009 at the age of 90. Doris continued to play bridge with her partner, Ray Carden, until shortly after her 100th birthday. Beyond bridge, she and Jim were instrumental in the establishment of the Log Cabin Swingers square dancing club where they enjoyed the camaraderie and the promenading.
She lived during a time where honesty was the best policy…anything worthwhile required an effort, never, never give up, where children were a reflection of their parents, right was right, wrong was wrong, discussion not necessary. Say what you mean and mean what you say, keep your word, and never forget a friend. Doris and Jim raised two sons, Rod and Mickey, both very active in sports and neither parent missed a game during their athletic careers. Doris, again with her take charge attitude, ran and worked the concession stands for fourteen years and was a member of the Auxiliary Club. She was an avid bowler and scored a hole-in-one on a Florida golf course the only time she ever picked up a club. Most credit the boy’s athleticism to Jim, but Doris might have been the key element.
She was mom to her boys, “grandmother” to her elder grandchildren and greats, “Mur” to the youngest ones and an unforgettable rock to all of us. She is survived by sons James Rodney Neathery, Jr. and wife Diane of Fairview and Michael Roy Neathery and wife JoDee of Pinnacle Golf Club at Cedar Creek Lake, grandchildren James Rodney (Trey) Neathery, III and wife Sheri of John’s Creek, Ga., Misty (Neathery) Rothermel and husband Geoff of John’s Creek, Ga., Krissa (Neathery) Price and husband Michael Price of Frisco, Cristi (Neathery) Paschall and husband Cole of Celina and great-grandchildren Madison Neathery, Jack Rothermel, Reed Rothermel, Camden Paschall, James Michael (Trey) Price and Brenden Michael Price, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Dec. 5, 2019 she asked her youngest son, “How long do you think I’ll still be percolating?” Sadly, we now have our answer. Washington Irving said, “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.”