Melba Jeanne Neal

April 23, 1949 ~ October 23, 2021 (age 72)


Jeanne, Mom, Grandma, Neener

Melba Jeanne Neal was born on April 23, 1949 in Ogden Utah to Paul E. Gardner and Melba Jane Gardner. Jeanne lived in Utah with her family and later they all moved to Pocatello Idaho. Jeanne attended various elementary schools last of which was Jefferson Elementary. She would then go on to attend Irving JR High and graduate from Pocatello High School in 1967.
Jeanne married Blaine E. Reese in 1966, and had three beautiful children: Angela, April and Wyatt. Jeanne and Blaine later divorced. Jeanne then got together with the love of her life James Neal in 1975. They merged their families together and became a family of ten.
Jeanne had many jobs in her life including: Labbs Motel as a maid, Pompi Johnsons Daycare as the Manager, The Oxbo Motor Inn as the head of maintenance, and the receptionist for the family business Paul Gardner Heating and air where she retired.
Some of her favorite things in life were: shooting (she was a dang good shot), hunting, fishing, spoiling her animals, and cooking a hot meal for her loved ones. She loved all activities that involved her family, and never missed an opportunity to laugh. She was a Sunday school teacher in the two and three year old class at Calvary Chapel where she and her husband attended church for many years. She loved working in the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop with her husband, children, and grandchildren before and after service. She never missed an opportunity to hold a baby and sing her one-of-a-kind lullabies. She truly was the baby whisperer.
She loved celebrating the birthdays of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She insisted on making the birthday cakes and always brought the giant birthday bag full of crafts, color books, crayons, all things Jesus, a Veggietales movie or the latest Disney show. She was definitely passionate about laundry and dishes. NO ONE in the house could do it right but her. She had a deep love for her Lord Jesus and would pray any place, any time, for any person.
She was preceded in death by her mother: Melba Gardner, father: Paul Gardner, sisters: Sandra Allison, and Ida Gardner, brother: Leelond Gardner, husband: James Neal, daughters: Pam Tarbot, and Annetta Johansen, sons: Brian Neal, granddaughter: Courtney Neal, her grandparents, many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
She is survived by her sister: Cynthia Gardner (Boise) brothers: Doc and Perry Gardner sister-in-laws: Callie Williamsen, Edith Nelson, and Marie (Dave) Hochhalter and brother-in-law: Wyatt (Cindy) Reece (Texas). Her children: Dale Neal (Payette), Angela (Toad) Christiansen, April May, Wyatt (Alicia) Reese, and Clay Neal. Her 31-grandchildren, 29-great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, and cousins (Richard Neal being one of the favorites). Many people were as special to her as her own children, but they are too numerous to name. She was full of a lot of love and gave it freely to all she encountered. To say she will be greatly missed would be an understatement.
A Celebration of Life and potluck will be held Christ Love Vineyard Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 4 pm. Condolences may be sent to the family online at

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