Neola Walters, 79, of Bloomington, Ill., escaped the tethers of this physical world on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, at 12:35 p.m. at Le Roy Manor in Le Roy, Ill., after many long years of physical and mental decline due to the effects of spinal cord injury and many complications. Her funeral service will be 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, 2013, a the Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington, Ill.. The Rev. Dr. Don Jackson will officiate. Visitation will be from 1:30 PM-2:30 Pm Saturday at the memorial home. Following cremation, private inurnment will be at a later date will be in Cedar Creek Cemetery in Little York, Ill. in the spring.
Neola was born Neola Lea Kubicek on Sept. 27, 1934, in Marshalltown, Iowa, the daughter of Hubert A. and Martha R. (Kvidera) Kubicek of Tama. She married Raymond Walters on June 25, 1966 in Tama. They lived happily in Hoffman Estates, Ill., for 38 years and in Bloomington, Ill. for nine years.
Neola is survived by her husband, Ray; daughter Amy (George) Mueller, Bloomington; granddaughter Kaitlyn Mueller, Bloomington; sister and brother-in-law Mary and Bill Oswald, Tulsa, Okla.; brother and sister-in-law John and Jane Walters, Hanover Park, Ill.; and five nieces: Karen (Matt) Conrad, San Antonio, TX; Beth (Jon) Gear, St. Charles, Ill.; Andrea (Johnathan) Myron, Woodland Hills Calif.; Valerie (Jesse) Huerta, Tulsa, OK; and Lexie Oswald, Broken Arrow, Okla.; and one nephew Nathan Walters, Minneapolis, Minn.
Also surviving are numerous first cousins including: Margaret Kubicek Burch, Penrose, Colo.; Linda Lyman, Beloit, Wisc.; David Triplett, St. Charles, Ill.; Timothy (Robin) Triplett, St. Charles, Ill.; Susan (Mike) Lambert, Freeport, Ill.; Norman J. (Mary) Ross, Loda, Ill.; Raymond (Lois) Hough, La Cross, Wisc.; Shirley Garretson, Muscatine, Iowa; Ann (Sam) Smiley, Tucson, Az.; Dennis (Genie) Hough, Killeen, Texas; Harold (Pat) Hough, Thomasboro, Okla.
Growing up as a banker's daughter in a small town, Neola excelled at everything she did. She was always at the top of her class. In high school, she was in National Honor Society, first chair clarinet in orchestra and in leadership roles in all areas but athletics. She was raised to be socially discriminating and proper, but always oriented to helping others. Neola earned a BA in education and English literature at Cornell College and went on to earn her MA in Guidance and Counseling at the University of Iowa. She taught high school English in Washington, Iowa, and Rock Island, Ill. and worked as a high school guidance counselor in Robbinsdale, Minn., and Skokie, Ill., and taught Special Ed. In Carpentersville, IL
Neola was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church where she sang in the choir and played piano for many years.
She was also active as a member of PEO, a philanthropic, education focused women's group and was a member of Chapter NQ, Normal at the time of her death.
Neola quit teaching to be a full time mother at the birth of her daughter and did not return to employment outside of her home.
Neola and Ray moved from Hoffman Estates, Ill. to Bloomington, Ill. in 2004 to be closer to their daughter due to Neola's worsening medical and neurological problems.
Neola was greatly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. The family wishes to thank the staff at Le Roy Manor for their loving care of Neola and also to thank the many home health care workers who helped care for Neola over the past 14 years; especially home health nurse Sarah Clark and the CNAs with the Vital Wellness Agency.
Memorials may be made to PEO chapter NQ or The Center for Youth and Family Solutions.