Doris "Dotty" Whitaker Neill Wednesday, December 2, 1925 - Saturday, April 1, 2017
Doris Marie “Dotty” Whitaker was born on February 12, 1925, in Cushing, Texas to Verda and Walter Whitaker. She departed her earthly life to join her husband in their heavenly home on April 1, 2017. Dotty grew up in Nat, Texas, surrounded by the large Whitaker clan, including numerous cousins. She attended Cushing High School, graduating at the age of sixteen, where she played volleyball and played saxophone in the band. She was also a cheerleader, especially for her future husband, Harold Neill, who was a star basketball player. World War II interfered with their plans for the future, and Dot and Harold eloped in 1943, just before Harold was sent to the Panama Canal Zone. When Harold returned home after the war, Dotty was living in Houston with her parents, and they made their home there, eventually settling on the north side of Houston. Dotty was active in the Women's Missionary Union at Bethel Baptist Church and taught Girls' Auxiliary groups and Sunday School for eight year olds for many years. As a mother and homemaker, Dotty's main occupation was sewing. She was a talented, award-winning seamstress, and she used her talents to make the crowns for the GA's at Bethel each year and sewed Easter outfits for orphan children. She made her daughters' hand-beaded wedding dresses and all the bridesmaids' dresses. Later in life, she sewed for her granddaughter's wedding and made three little flower girls' outfits. She was also a talented baker, always sending a beautiful pie or cake to every funeral. When Harold retired from his watchmaking school, he and Dotty moved to his grandparents' home, the old Mitchell place on Linn Flat Cemetery Road in Trawick, and began many renovations. With help from his brother, Jerry Neill, Harold and Dotty soon restored the circa 1900 house, and Dotty began to lovingly decorate each room. Their home became a showplace, and many who remembered it from years past would stop by to ask for a tour. Harold loved showing off their home, telling stories of his grandpa, Marvin Marion Mitchell. Dotty and Harold lived in Trawick for eighteen years before selling their home to their son, Tandy, and moving to Oak Ridge North to be near their children and grandchildren. They loved being so near family and especially enjoyed visits from their great-grandchildren. Having lived to the age of ninety-two, Dotty is predeceased by her parents, her mother-in-law, Gladys Neill, all her aunts and uncles, her husband, her niece, Jan McCormack Hyden, nephew John Avery Box, and many in-laws and Whitaker and Neill cousins. She is survived by her sister, Mildred McCormack, and by her sisters-in law Ouitau Williams, Sue Neill, and Patty Neill. The Neill in-laws became like brothers and sisters to her, and Dotty treasured Neill family get togethers. She is also survived by her cousin and childhood playmate, Sybil Beck Sitton of Beaumont, Texas. Dotty was much-loved mother to four children: Jody Neill, Tandy Neill, Doug Neill and wife Carol, and Jeanie Radford and husband Bill, as well as many nieces and nephews. Also mourning their beautiful Dot-Dot are granddaughters, Tessa Wilken, Dr. Rachel Nichols, Robin Cornelius, and Grace Neill, and grandsons Steve Neill, John Cornelius, Mitchell Osina, J.D. Neill, and Christopher Neill. The family thanks Dotty's loving companions and caregivers in her later years, Martha Flores, Gina Peacock, and Jennifer Manuel. Dotty called them “my girls, too”. Services for Dotty will be at Dickie Allen Funeral Home in Cushing, Texas on Wednesday, April 5 at 1:00, with viewing at 12:00 and burial next to her husband in Linn Flat Cemetery, just down the road from their Trawick home. Pallbearers will be her grandsons and son-in-law. In celebration of Dotty's love of style and color, attendees at the service are encouraged to wear bright colors. For those desiring to make contributions in Dotty's memory, please send them to Trawick Presbyterian Church, c/o church secretary, 272 County Road 831, Nacogdoches, Texas 75964. Whenever Harold took younger relatives on what they called “The Cemetery Tour” around Trawick, he would remind them that someday he and Dot would rest together on the hill in Linn Flat. That day is here, and their children rejoice that Mother and Daddy are together in Heaven.