Joann Neal was born on August 26, 1944, in Jay, Oklahoma to Arnold and Zanoma Price. She lived in Jay almost her entire life. She graduated from Jay High School in 1962. She was the granddaughter of Ollie and Leila Praytor and Chock and Ethel Price, both of her grandfathers were Delaware County Sheriffs at one time. One can assume that’s where her authoritative personality came from!!
Joann was married to Joe Coble in 1964 and they had four children. Joann was very proud of her family and heritage, naming each of her children after family members. LeAnna Hall, Noma Chewey, Price Coble and Charlie and Krissi Coble all of Jay. Mema was probably her favorite name and her grandchildren include Skye Amos, DJ and Baylee Keener, Montgomery Chewey, Colton Coble, Christena Bingham, Chade Coble, Kallise and Wade Johnson, Dylan and Brenten Hall. Great grandchildren; Hadley and Harper Goins, JJ Bingham, Axl and Rheze Vickers, Annalee Chunestudy, Adelyn, Maxwell, Lakelyn, Kota and Mavrex Keener. Joann was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents along with her son in-laws Bob Hall and JR Chewey.
Joann’s family owned and operated many businesses while she was growing up, the local lumber yard and the ‘Y’ store on the west end of Jay were just a couple.
Joann loved attending basketball games and was very vocal as everyone who ever attended one with her can attest. She was known for hollering “get the ball”, “rebound the ball”, “hustle” just to name a few. She also loved softball and hauled Noma Grace to ball games all over the country. They were travel balling when it hadn’t been heard of yet! All of her children were active in sports, not sure she ever missed an event!
Her family always had a ranch with cattle and horses, they attended many ropings and rodeos. Her uncle Harold Lee Price held the record in Madison Square Garden for many years. Many picnics were eaten on the tailgate of a pickup that included her famous fried chicken. Cowboys would flock to their rig to see what goodies she had prepared for them. Joe and Joann worked for the late Leonard and Frankie Woods Tri State Rodeo Company. The families are bound together to this day. There were many practice team ropings held at their ranch with Barry and Leona Allen always in attendance with many others.
Joann wore many different hats in her lifetime. She worked for Cherokee Nation and was instrumental in helping employ many in her community. She also was an over the road truck driver at one time with her second husband, Ronnie Neal. She worked at Jerry’s Diner for the Noblins and Shangri-La with some of her best friends, Nancy Kelley and Cindy Thomas. She found her true calling when she began cleaning and decorating Mount Hermon Church. She always took so much pride in the church looking nice. If you knew her, you knew she was a stickler for details and her way was the only way. She taught all of her family the value of hard work and that a job worth doing was worth doing right, to which anyone can attest!
She would jump and lend a hand with anything. She worked at B&L Feed during garden season or anytime she was needed. She helped with numerous customer appreciation Days including NAPA in Southwest City for Price and a couple at Stockman’s Trading Company. Dylan mentioned how he never thought of Mema being old and that she would grab a broom or work the register when he was busy! She also never missed a singing gig that Dylan was performing at, loved the old gospel and country music he played and listening to David Meyer on the piano.
Joann’s true passion was making things more beautiful which included designing, decorating, painting, wall papering, rearranging and she really loved if she could come up with one of a kind unique ideas or objects. Her youngest son, Charlie, really took after her in being creative and designing one of kind items. Charlie has more talent than most can comprehend. Joann and Charlie shared their love of heritage and family heirlooms. Charlie and Price along with Chad Amos built her casket.
Her first grandchild, Skye Amos was her go to in a pinch if she needed some help with cleaning the church or a house and many of her mannerisms are seen in Skye, but we don’t mind! It was never a secret how Joann felt about things, her face said it all! She expected folks to do the right thing and you could expect the same from her.
Joann was in charge of all things Mt. Hermon for many years including church dinners, cooking for Awana Kids on Wednesday nights, massive Sam’s shopping trips to keep the pantry stocked and keeping the entire church organized. Even after she stepped down from her position, she never got over the desire to help at the church. She had many close friends at Mt. Hermon and the list would be too long to start naming. You know who you are!
Joann was a good cook and there are some things that will never taste the same here on earth such as swiss steak, garden chowder and Texas sheet cake. Oh, there are recipes but somehow, she made them taste better than any reproduction ever will.
She was a Cherokee tribal member and was proud to be native American.
She loved to shop as much as anyone and would jump in no matter what was being shopped for or where the destination was. One of her last special trips was to the Pioneer Woman with Nancy, Cindy, and Sheila. Sheila Goins was her dear friend and neighbor she could always count on. They had a blast together that day.
It would be remiss not to mention her time on the Jay City Council. A volunteer position she took seriously. She wanted to do all she could to better the city and became especially close to Becki Farley. She loved Becki and Becki loves her.
Joann loved watching all the accomplishments of her family and friends. If you had asked her she might have taken some credit for Brenten Hall’s rodeo accomplishments as she was often known for being his personal roping dummy in the feed store when he was a little boy. She was very proud to be able to attend the NFR in 2020 in Arlington and 2021 in Las Vegas and she also was sad to have missed his wedding in South Dakota this year due to her health.
As the saying goes, “you can’t believe in heaven and be sad when someone goes there!” Life without her will be difficult, her wisdom, smile and ‘can do’ attitude will be missed. Her time on earth was cherished and her legacy lives on in the hearts of all who knew her. She is now rejoicing with her God, family and friends.