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John L . Neville

October 22, 1934 — January 2, 2015

John L . Neville

John L. Neville was born October 22, 1934 to the late Joe and Rachel Person Neville in Germantown, Tennessee.

John was educated through the Shelby County School System. John accepted Christ at an early age at New Sardis Missionary Baptist Church. John's gift from God was to sing. He used his gift to the glory of God whenever he could.

John decided to leave home at the age of 17. He traveled to Chicago, following his friends in a gospel singing group. He then traveled to Des Moines, where he stayed with the Crawford and Harris families and a livelong bond of friendship was formed. He decided to make Des Moines his home. and joined the Mt. Hebron Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor James Harris. After a short stay, he returned to Memphis where he met the love of his life. John was united in holy matrimony to his beautiful wife, Virgie Lee Guy on October 21, 1957. They returned to Des Moines and built a life together.

John worked at Barbara's Bakery until his retirement after 35 years of service. He changed his church membership to Morningstar Baptist church under the leadership of Pastor Alex Crawford, Jr. He was ordained as a Deacon and also served as Chair of the Deacon Board for a number of years.

John loved quartet-style gospel music. He was an outstanding gospel singer and guitar player. He helped to form the True Light Singers where he sang and played the lead guitar. John was also one of the founders of the well-known gospel Neville Brothers. They enjoyed traveling across the country performing for the Glory of God. During their time together they released two albums. John and the group opened up for many famous gospel acts such as: The Williams Brothers, Mighty Clouds of Joy and the Mississippi Mass Choir, to name a few.

In his spare time John enjoyed watching baseball and was a little league coach. John was full of life; he would make you laugh during your roughest moments. There was never a time where you would catch John without a joke or two. Boy, oh Boy, his sense of humor would have you laughing! There was never a dull moment when conversing with him, especially about the Word of God. Bottom line, it was either John's way or NO WAY !! In his retirement, he loved sitting on the porch and chatting with neighbors and anyone who stopped by to visit. John was a very friendly person who loved people, and they loved him back.

In addition to loving gospel music, nothing could match his love for his children and grandchildren.

John L. Neville went home to be with the Lord on January 2, 2015 at the age of 80 years old. He joined his family in Heaven which included his parents; his brothers, Jesse, Clarence, Willie and his sisters, Tee and Sarah.

John leaves to cherish his memory, a loving and devoted wife, Virgie Neville; a son, Larry D. Neville; three daughters, Norma Neville (bobby) Ervin, Vickie Neville (David) Grayson, Annetta Crawford, Janice Neville (Willie Jr.) Hoof; three brothers, Dewitt (Pauline) Neville, Joe Neville, Phil (Bereene) Neville; three sisters, Barbara Coleman, Laverne West and Janice (Michael) Parrish; 13 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Cemetery Details Glendale Cemetery 4901 University

Des Moines, IA, 50310


JAN 9. 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM

Henderson's Highland Park Funeral Home

3500 Sixth Avenue

Des Moines, IA, US, 50313 Family Greeting friends from

JAN 9. 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM

Henderson's Highland Park Funeral Home

3500 Sixth Avenue

Des Moines, IA, US, 50313 Funeral Service

JAN 10. 01:00 PM

Elpis Christian Fellowship

4440 College

Des Moines, IA, US

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John L . Neville, please visit our flower store.


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