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Ethel's Story

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Ethel Osene Black Harwell, 99, of Palestine, Texas, died November 27th, 2017,
peacefully at her home. Affectionately known as "Ocie" by friends and family,
she was born on August 10th, 1918, to Momen and Gertrude Black in Golden,
Mississippi. Ocie married Everett Glenn Neel on December 14th, 1940 and they
had three children, Marvin, David, and Martha Neel.

Ocie was a dedicated wife and mother, serving as a homemaker much of her life.
She also worked in retail to help support her family; spending many years as an
associate at JC Penney.

Ocie loved life and loved people; she lived every day of her life with passion,
faith, and a sincere sense of gratitude. She was an avid bridge player, and
accomplished artist. She enjoyed playing games, reading, and traveled widely
over the course of her life. Ocie was very dedicated to her family, Christian faith,
church, and community. By any measure, she was an extraordinary person to all
who knew her. Her level of caring and concern for those around her was profound;
always putting other's needs ahead of her own. Her everyday approach to life was to make the most of everything and to give of herself. Ocie exemplified joy; and
was persistent in overcoming adversity throughout her life. She was incredibly
influential because of her approach toward others; leaving a loving impression on
everyone she met and being warmly remembered by those who knew her. She
was a true blessing and a mentor to her family; and an inspiration to all as she
demonstrated what it means to truly live life to the fullest. She will be greatly
missed, but her legacy lives on in the lives of the many people she touched.

She is survived by her sister Jo Ann Harris (Eron) of Memphis, TN, her three children,
Marvin Neel and wife Donna of Golden, CO; David Neel and wife Marilyn of
Nederland, TX; and Martha Johnson of Palestine, TX. She is also survived by
eight grandchildren, William Aaron Johnson (Valerie) and Carolyn Johnson Fields
(Brian) of Palestine, TX; Bruce Johnson of Fairfield, TX; Todd Neel (Evelyn) of
Missoula, MT; Gretchen MacKinnon (Lee) of Tomball, TX; Josh Neel (Sarah) of
Arvada, CO; Robert Neel (Juliana) and Richard Neel and fourteen great-
grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Momen and Gertrude Black; her
siblings Ophelia, Irene, and Douglas; her spouse Glenn Neel; her spouse Bill
Montour; and her spouse Gene Harwell.

A celebration of Ocie's life will be held December 10th, 2017 at 3PM at the First
Christian Church located at 113 E Crawford St in Palestine, TX with Rev. Jordan Byrd officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to First Christian Church of Palestine, TX in her memory.
Published on December 4, 2017
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