In memory of
Ina Louise (Neal) Bryeans of Gosnell, Arkansas, passed away on December 31, 2017, at the SMC Regional Medical Center in Osceola, Arkansas, at the age of 98. For the past two years, Ina had been patient at the Gosnell (AR) Therapy & Living Center near her residence there.
Ina, the oldest child of Nenon & Annie (Evans) Neal, was born on April 24, 1919, near Camden in southwest Arkansas. When she was 13, her family left their farm at Crossroads in Hempstead County and moved first to Mississippi County and then to Pemiscot County, Missouri, in 1936. At Crossroads, Ina attended Bright Star and Guernsey schools. She graduated from Pemiscot County's Deering (MO) High School in 1939.
On December 21, 1940, Ina married Lacy Bryeans in Blytheville, Arkansas. The couple built a house on the south side of Gosnell on what would later become Air Base Highway, and raised their family there. Ina's husband helped built the air base across the road from their house in the 1950s.
During Ina's almost 99 years, she lived years through 18 presidents from 1919-2017. Her father was a cotton farmer who farmed rich delta land near Pascola, Missouri, beginning in 1936. She also lived on earlier farms in Arkansas from 1919 to 1936.
From her mother, she learned the art of sewing and made beautiful clothes for her daughters and made many hand-made quilts. She enjoyed crafts, making various items with her Extension Club and sharing those items with others. Each year, she submitted an item to the County Fair and won well deserved awards. Each year she raised a vegetable garden and had lovely flower beds from which she shared cuttings and starts to family and friends.
On the farm, she learned to cook and perfected her culinary skills, enjoyed trying new recipes, especially desserts, but always returned to her beloved southern food of cornbread, biscuits, turnip greens, pies and cobblers. Before her husband passed away, she often made her coveted deep-fried fresh bream or crappie. Her house was always clean and open to family. We didn't have to ask if it was okay to visit. We always knew she would want us to come. She was a proud, intelligent person and beloved by many, and was strong of body and spirit. She survived at least three heart attacks in her later years but survived those and went on to live many more years.
Ina loved to travel to family reunions in California and to see her children. In Massachusetts, she fell in love with lighthouses; and one could see pictures of those adorning her dining room wall. In another room, a collection of vintage oil lamps graced a wall shelf. She traveled to various places with her church group and her extension club. She lived in the same house from shortly after she married until she entered the Gosnell Nursing Home in 2016. It was a safe haven and felt like home to many of us.
Ina was a faithful member of the Gosnell Baptist Church until she was no longer able to attend. All who knew her would say she was friendly, hard-working, interested in others, and an overall good person, along with being a beautiful person inside and out. She will be so terribly missed by her family and all who knew her.
Ina was preceded in death by her husband in 1988; an infant son, Patrick, in 1960; another son, Eddie in 2012, two grandchildren; and two sisters, Lois Barry and Margaret Stewart.
Ina is survived by two sons, Tommy Bryeans and his wife, Donna, of Lake Charles, LA, and Phil Bryeans of Gosnell; and three daughters, Rita Cadorette and her longtime companion, Robert White, of Fort Worth, Texas; Darlene Clarke and husband John of Shohola, PA; and Beverly Pessolano and husband Patrick, of Springfield, MA. She is also survived by 17 grandchildren and numerous great and great-great grandchildren; two brothers, Wesley Neal of Kansas City, KS; Wayne Neal of Antioch, CA; and two sisters, Patricia Harp and Joy Brown, both of Springfield, MO.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 4th at 10:00 a.m. in the Cobb Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Eddie Clemons officiating. Burial will follow in Dogwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 9:00 a.m. until service time at Cobb Funeral Home.
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