Ruth Lillian Neill

November 16, 2023

Ruth Lillian (Easson) Neill, 91, of Lockwood, MO, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

She was born September 16th, 1932 in Red Oak, MO. Ruth graduated from Lockwood High School in 1950 and attended Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield, MO. After working for a time at her family’s business, Easson Sales and Service, Ruth started her banking career at Farmers State Bank.

It was there at the age of 24 that she met the love of her life, John Neill. Following a whirlwind courtship, the couple were married May 5th, 1957 and together they spent the next 66 years together, happily married, raising four children and making a life in Lockwood, with the exception of one school year when John mistakenly thought Ruth could be happy living somewhere besides Lockwood.

Ruth was a very loyal and energetic servant to her Lockwood community and the Lockwood United Methodist Church; Church Treasurer, UMW, BPW, DCCC, Republican Women, Food Pantry, Nursing Home Bingo, the John Neill Cancer Run, St. John’s Hospital volunteer, and the list could go on and on. Ruth inherited this trait from her father, Clair Easson, whose wife Lena said, “if it wasn’t anything but a good dog fight, Clair Easson would be there.”

Above all, Ruth had a love of family beyond measure. She had an unconditional love for her parents, her siblings, and then her husband, 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Her biggest joys were certainly the times she could get the family together for dinners, for holidays, and for large family vacations of 20 or more that included trips to Branson, Destin, Colorado, and Orlando.

After retiring from Bank of America in 1994, and the sale of John’s Smorgasbord, a restaurant she had helped John grow to a booming success in the 1980’s, John and Ruth traveled extensively in their motor home, proud that they accomplished visiting all 50 states. They spent a few winters in warm locations, but when two new grandchildren were born in 1999 that ended. The big motorhome was sold and the duration of trips shortened so Grandma Neill could be where she was happiest: serving her family, church and community, babysitting and attending countless sporting events, school assemblies, and whatever else her grandchildren were involved in.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Clair and Lena Easson; four siblings and their spouses, Margarite Easson (died at birth), Annis Gillock Hixon (Lawrence Gillock, Bill Hixon), Katherine and Charles Langston, and Sheldon and Nora Ruth Easson; and one niece, Susan Langston Vonier.

Ruth is survived by her husband, John Neill; daughters, Karrie Sands (Neal) and Karla Gregg (Chuck); sons, Kevin Neill (Heather) and Kirk Neill (Kristin); ten grandchildren, Nathan Sands, Eric Sands (Crystal), Kayla Goings (David), Jonathan Gregg, Joseph Gregg (Megan), Skylar Neill (Kesler), Lakin Neill, Rylee Neill, Makinley Neill, and Adrien Neill; and five great-grandchildren, Brinley Clair, Kyson Goings, Rowan Goings, Howard Sands, and Everett Gregg. Also surviving are many nephews, nieces and friends.

The family wishes to thank the caring staff at Good Shepherd and Gentiva for the wonderful care Ruth received in her final months. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Good Shepherd Community Care and Rehabilitation Facility or to the Lockwood United Methodist Church.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2023, at the Lockwood United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in the Lockwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. until service time at the church. Online condolences may be shared at Services were under the care of Lockwood Funeral Chapel.