Neva Jane Lingo


Neva Jane was born in rural Arkansas to William Pierce and Buena Davis, on their farm near Murfreesboro. Neva was the baby of the family, and her childhood years were charmed by their doting love. She played basketball in school, helped her mom around the house, and learned to make much out of little.

When Neva was a teenager, young Jake Lingo caught her eye, and it wasn’t long before she caught Jake. They began their married life in a small cabin called the Dilly house. There was no electricity in that part of Arkansas in those days. Even so, Mrs. Jake Lingo turned the Dilly house into a warm, bright home. Soon their son, Donald, was on the way, and the Lingos became a family.

Jake got good work building the Narrows Dam, where he dodged the death angel at least once. When the dam was completed, Jake chose not to follow the work to the next project. He wanted to keep his family closer to home, so they moved to Texarkana. Jake found work in a gas station and Neva in a laundromat across the street from their new home on Pecan Street.

Their second child, Susan, was born, and it was time for a bigger living space. Jake found a better job apprenticing to a television repairman, and the family moved to a pretty house on Martha Street. They joined College Hill Methodist Church and met people who became some of their closest lifelong friends. Along the way, Neva was a wife, mother, hostess, and friend. She was still a playful girl who could be counted on to share a laugh, join in a caper, or go all out to fix your favorite birthday supper. Life was good on Martha Street, and after a few more years Jake and Neva brought their third child, Lori, into the world.

Jake bought the television repair business and turned it into Texas Avenue TV Center, and Neva learned bookkeeping to help. They forged their path forward, as they had from the beginning. Team Lingo. Jake bought five acres on Highway 71, and they built their dream home. Neva filled it with treasures she collected during their travels around the country. She filled it with the aromas of ham at Easter, turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving, and spiced tea at Christmas. The Lingo family joined Fairview Methodist Church after College Hill. They kept their College Hill friends and made more lifelong friends at Fairview.

In the evening time, Jake and Neva often sat on their back patio. The yard behind the house was a vast lawn under tall pine trees, bordered by woods, and it reminded them of home.

Jake and Neva raised their children and sent them off to college because education was important. Then came the grandchildren, and Jake and Neva opened their hearts and home again. The years ticked by, each one filled to the brim by Neva Jane.

Daughter Lori and her husband, Tracy, entered the pastorate with Jake and Neva by their side. The Lingos enjoyed many years with Harvest International Ministries and made more faithful friends.

Jake and Neva celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, a big blowout with all their friends and family. Then the time came for Jake to retire. He sold Texas Avenue TV Center, and he and Neva sorted out their roles at home, just the two of them.

More years went by. Sixty years together. Seventy years. Seventy-five. Then, in March, seventy-six years. Every morning they shared coffee, and every evening they went off to bed together, hand in hand. In all their years of marriage, Jake and Neva had been apart only a handful of nights. They were best friends. Love birds. Soulmates. They were and always will be a couple of farm kids looking for adventure, and they both believe the greatest adventures await beyond the grave.

In the quiet early morning of May 24, in the bedroom she and Jake shared, Neva stepped out of this life. She is survived by Jake and their children: Donald Lingo (Toni) of Tulsa; Susan Lingo of Arlington; and Lori Harris (Tracy) of Texarkana. Grandchildren are Brian Lingo (Jenny) of Tampa; Kimberly Williams (Kurt) of Tulsa; Matthew Harris (Liberty) of Tansen, Nepal; Jacob Harris of Texarkana; Suzann Whatley (Josh) of Texarkana, and Jon Taylor (Kaitlin) of Texarkana. Great grandchildren are Kole, Kye, and Kooper Williams; Grace, Sadie, Max, and Ava Lingo, Sophie and Benaiah Harris; Ezekiel Harris; MaKynzie, Zaidee Kate, Eliza, and Maizy Whatley; and Harper Harris on the way.

Neva Jane is also survived by a wealth of nieces and nephews whom she loved.

Visitation on Thursday from 6:00 to 7:30pm at Texarkana Funeral Home, 4801 Parkway Drive, Texarkana, Arkansas.

Memorial service on Friday, May 31 at 1:00 pm at Biggs Chapel Methodist Church in Nashville, Arkansas, with Tracy Harris officiating.

Neva, I hope I wrote the things you’d want included. You weren’t here for us to do it together. See you in a blink. Much love. Lisa

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