Services for Linda Joyce Neal Morrison, 75, of Athens, are scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 4:00 PM at Hannigan Smith Funeral Home.
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Linda Joyce Neal Morrison passed from this life on July 8th after a brief illness. She was born on September 26, 1943 to G. O. Neal and Ruth Avanell Tabor. She was born in the middle of the night. All her life she did not know if her birthday was the 26 (according to the doctor) or the 27th (according to her mother). She was one of 11 children, 6 boys and 5 girls. She often said she had enough siblings for their own baseball team.
Linda is survived by her sisters, Lanell Long of Dallas, Texas; Patsy Neal and Brenda Sampson, both of Sherman Texas; and her brother Dennis Neal of Sherman, Texas. Her daughters Kimberley Cook, of Athens, Texas and Angela and Billy Wagoner of Athens, Texas; Grandsons Austin Miler of Dallas, Texas, Zachary Miller and Taylor Patin of Dallas, Texas and many nieces and nephews.
Linda was stepmom to Michael, Dan and Tim Morrison, children of John Morrison. She loved them dearly like her own. John and Linda hosted Michaela Schedel of Germany in the 90’s. She has been a daughter to Linda ever since that time.
Linda was born and raised in Kentucky Town, Texas. She attended high school at White Wright, Texas. She attended college at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas where her oldest brother O’Dell Neal was the Dean of Agriculture. He was very instrumental in his siblings attending college. She majored in homemaking and textiles. She was a very gifted seamstress. Starting at a very early age she would sit at the foot of her mother’s treadle sewing machine. She could look at most anything and make it without a pattern. One of her favorite times of year was Halloween. Her daughter Kimberley and her grandsons Austin and Zach have always looked very forward to the creation of their costumes.
She loved running. For many years she and her friend Ann Boyles did not miss the St. Gregory Fun Run. She often won a medal for her age group. She also looked forward to the Annual Turkey Trot in Dallas with her sister Brenda. Another tradition that her family participated in annually was the Susan G. Komen Race for the cure in Tyler, Texas held Mother’s Day weekend with her daughters and grandsons.
Linda taught homemaking, home and family living and consumer education in Athens and Rockwell, Texas. She later taught a Commercial Vocational Education Course at Brownsboro High School where she made lifelong friendships with several of her students. After taking several years off to enjoy her two grandsons, she returned to Brownsboro ISD as the Food Services Director.
In retirement she was coaxed into purchasing a fixer upper house by her daughter Angela. That was such a success that she was convinced she needed another fixer upper to work on. They spent many days sanding and painting walls or sanding and tiling floors. She was a hard worker. If she set out to complete a task, she would take the time and effort to do it right.
Linda loved her grandsons. They were her pride and joy. She taught them many things, like how to have a poker face, to chase a walnut down the driveway and see whose would go the farthest, to pile up leaves in the yard, not to bag, but to jump in. Those important life lessons.
Movies were a big part of her life. Whether it was going with her girlfriend to the theatre in Tyler or piling up in the bed with Kimberley on a Sunday afternoon, this was one of her favorite pastimes.
When Angela’s dog Peaches had puppies there was a concern that they might not all find a home. Linda decided to take two home. She had never been a dog person. Her love for LuLu and Opie was apparent.
One of her great loves was coffee. When she was in hospice care she continued to ask for coffee. She told Angela “they” did not know how to make a good cup of coffee.
She had a way of making you feel special. She loved us all uniquely. She will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Henderson County Humane Society or Hospice of East Texas Foundation of Tyler, Texas.
Visitation will be held prior to the service from 3-4:00 PM.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home family.