Shelby County’s Sweethearts – Livingston

  Judy said she was an Air-Force brat. She lived in Germany, Massachusetts, Alaska and Mississippi. She came to Missouri in 1960 where she lived in Queen City and then came to Shelbina in 1963.

  Neal lived in Kewanee, IL and in 1951 moved to Leonard.

  Before going into the service, Neal worked construction at Monroe City building an elevator. He enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1960 and 1977 was the year he got out. 

  The couple met at Gary O’Bryan’s wedding, Judy’s step-brother. 

  They double-dated with Judy’s sister and her boyfriend to a drive-in movie theater in Macon. 

  In 1964, Neal proposed to Judy on their way to a football game in Shelbina. 

  “He said there was something in the glove box for me,” said Judy.

  On August 8, 1965, the couple united in marriage at First Christian Church in Shelbina and a reception was held at the church.

  They went to South Dakota for one week for their honeymoon. 

  “It was so hot. The air conditioner in the 64’ Ford didn’t work. We had to buy water with our meals,” said Judy.

  Judy said she remembers a bird pooping on her head when they were going into a restaurant. 

  After returning from the honeymoon, Neal worked for a telephone company and Judy stayed home.

  When the couple was younger, they enjoyed bowling in Shelbina, Quincy, Hannibal, Palmyra and Moberly. Judy and her friend, June Serl, won the tournament in Palmyra.  They also liked to fish and go to family reunions. 

  They had their first child, Chris, in 1966 and their second, Tanya, in 1969.

    Neal started working on the railroad in 1974 but in 1986, he was injured while working. 

  “I was at the age where they didn’t want anybody but younger guys,” said Neal. 

  Judy worked between PN Hirsch and Dollar General for 25 years. She started working at the Salt River Community Care as an aide and then went to Moberly Community College and became a Med-Tech. 

  Later, she went back to school in 1998 to get her LPN and worked at Mexico Hospital, Audrain and Paris nursing homes; and then came to Shelbina and started working here 15 years ago.

  She later went back to school and got an RN degree. Judy still works at Salt River part-time.

  Judy recalled the March 1, 2007 tornado striking their house south of Shelbina. 

  “I was standing there and heard ‘MOVE’ and turned around and got hit in the back by some debris. God was watching over me.”

  Neal and Judy both agreed they enjoy watching TV and going to church.

  Judy said patience is important to their marriage and Neal agreed and also added love. 

  Neal said, “Be kind to your wife and love her a lot. Don’t take her for granted.”

  The couple said they have enjoyed living in Shelbina. 

  “It’s a good place to put down roots. You don’t have all the amenities of a bigger city, but you’ve got friends, that you can count on,” said Judy.