Pearl Neil

By Ellis Codjoe, December 26, 2018

Pearl Beverly Neil, 85, of Batavia, IA passed away Thursday, December 20, 2018 at her home.

Pearl Beverly Neil was born July 31, 1933, to George and Gladys (Miller) Curray in rural Jefferson County, north of Batavia.  She attended elementary school at Hickory Ridge Country School and graduated from Batavia High School in 1952.  Pearl married Claire William “Bill” Neil on June 5, 1953, at the Batavia Methodist Church Parsonage and they were married for 55 years until Bill’s death in 2008.

Growing up, Pearl loved any activity that would allow her to be outside.  She especially enjoyed helping her dad on the farm.  When it came time to attend high school, she chose Batavia because they had a girls’ basketball team.  She played guard for the team, and according to those who watched her, she played with tenacity.   After graduating in 1952, she attended Iowa Success Business School and then began her career at Universal Producing Company in Fairfield in 1953.  She later worked at the ASCS office in Fairfield, retiring in 1996.

In 1966, Pearl and her family moved to the farm, where she was once again able to enjoy the farm life.  She called this home for the remainder of her life.

Pearl was an active member of the Batavia Methodist Church, serving as treasurer for many years and helping with the church funeral luncheons.  She helped coordinate the Country School Reunion and Batavia Alumni Banquet.  Her lemon and chocolate meringue pies were always a favorite.  She was a member of the Batavia TTT for 63 years and enjoyed helping with the girls’ summer camp program.  Pearl loved her flower gardens, bird watching, quilting, numerous crafts, and spending time outdoors.  She was an ardent Cubs fan and watched the telecasts without fail, even this season’s game that ended in the early morning hours.

Pearl was a loving mother and grandmother.  Nothing made her happier than spending time with family.  She was generous, fun-loving, and very determined once she set her mind to accomplish any goal.  She made a lasting impression on those around her, and she will be deeply missed.

Pearl was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Bill and her two sisters, Phyllis Pumphrey and Jean Haile.

Left to share her story are her two children, Linda (Craig) Jones of Fort Collins, CO and Mark Neil of Batavia, IA; a grandson, Derek (Nichole) Jones of Longmont, CO; great grandchildren, Colin and Gabriella Jones; one brother, Tom (Shirley) Curray of Ankeny, IA; three sisters-in-law, Donna Neil, Virginia Neil, and Florence Neil, as well as many nieces, nephews, and many extended family members.

Memorial services in Pearl’s honor will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at the Cranston Family Funeral Chapel in Batavia, IA with Pastor Kelly Peavey officiating. Burial will be held in the Batavia Cemetery immediately following the service. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at the Batavia Chapel and last until the time of service. A time of fellowship and refreshments will be held at the Batavia Community Center following the graveside service.  Memorial contributions in Pearl’s honor may be directed to the Batavia Volunteer Fire Department, Batavia United Methodist Church, or Batavia TTT. Friends may sign the online guestbook at

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