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Patricia B. Neathery
Mesa , AZ
Apr 07, 1930 - Feb 09, 2011
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Patricia Beatrice (McCulloch) Neathery was born at home in Phoenix on April 7, 1930 to William Patrick McCulloch and Beatrice Livermore West. Her fath...
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Patricia B. Neathery
Patricia Beatrice (McCulloch) Neathery was born at home in Phoenix on April 7, 1930 to William Patrick McCulloch and Beatrice Livermore West. Her father, William, came to Phoenix in 1904 on the train heading to California. After experiencing the glory of a desert sunset and witnessing the last known old-west shoot out in Phoenix, he decided to set up his photography business here instead. Most desert photographs of the area, including Phoenix as a single dirt road and the first governor mowing the capital lawn, were taken by McCulloch Brothers Photography. Beatrice, her mother, later moved from Boston to the drier air of the Valley to aid her health. William and Beatrice married and had three children (Janet, Jean and Bill) before Patricia was born. As a child of the Depression, she learned to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Time with her childhood chums, Frances, Helen, Judy, MaryBelle, and many others filled her days. (Her dearest friendship with Frances began when they were two years old and will continue into eternity.) Life was spent riding the trolley car down Central Avenue, visiting Encanto Park and seeing $0.10 movies at the Orpheum. (Her mother took her to see the release of "The Wizard of Oz" there in 1939 shortly before her death.) Summers were often spent in San Diego with her grandfather, James West, and brought memories like the time that an elephant picked her up in his trunk when she was 3 years old! Patricia graduated from North Phoenix HS in 1948 and became a telephone operator at a switchboard. She enjoyed telling how once, when she was the Time Operator, a man called to prove his wife wrong by asking if she was a recording. "Yes, sir, this is a recording." "I thought so!" he replied! It was here that Patricia met the mother of three children, (Mary, Ron and Nancy) and became a surrogate mother and "Aunt Pat" to them. After several moves, Patricia married James E. Neathery II and had two children, Bonnie Patricia Hickman and Steven Joseph Neathery. Her children and grandchildren (Rachael, Steven & David) were the focus and love of her life. One only had to listen to her or look at the art on her refrigerator or Christmas tree to know that she cherished her family. Above all else, Patricia was a "mom". Her organization, thriftiness and efficiency were legendary whether she was at her job as a school secretary, sewing our clothes, cleaning the house, flipping mattresses every three months or reusing paper towels. Up to her last breaths, caused by pulmonary fibrosis, she continued to encourage and offer to help others. Patricia's family that is left here to await the family reunion in heaven include: Bonnie Hickman (daughter), Steven Neathery (son), Rachael, Steven, David & Nikky (grandchildren), Ed Hickman (son-in-law), & Jeanne Neathery (daughter-in-law) and her dear sister-in-law, Bonnie. She will be missed by all who knew her, whether that was for a lifetime or for days. She had a grace and a patient acceptance of all the moments that life brought to her. After her peaceful passing, carried to heaven in the arms of our Lord, she will have her ashes scattered near South Mountain to join the others of the family who also rest there overlooking Camelback, which is her mother's final resting place. Truly, Patricia was one who could look back on a beautiful life and say "it is not about the number of breaths that you take, but about the moments that take your breath away." She would like any donations (in lieu of flowers) to go to Hospice of the Valley (please specify "Friendship Village") or to purchase sewing machines for women in Malawai at A memorial service for Patricia will be held at Mission Community Church (4450 E Eliot Gilbert on Saturday 2/ ? at 1pm) Her favorite ice cream sundaes will be shared after the service in the Cafe.

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