Neva Nadine Bryant of Mountain Grove, Mo., died March 10, 2020. She was born Dec. 10, 1924, in Texas County, Mo., to Ernest and Bertha (Reaves) Smyer. On Sept. 14, 1945, she married Brodie Bryant, who preceded her in death. She married Jim Salyer on April 14, 2005. Jim also preceded Neva in death.             

Neva is survived by three sons and their wives – Kenny and Jane, Andy and Nancy, and Larry and Laura; four grandchildren – Holli Lyndora, Kristin Sponaugle, Lauren Bryant and Eric Bryant; and six great-grandchildren – Quinn Carr, Brodie Rybar, Elizabeth Bryant, Andy Leigh Bryant, Audrey Sponaugle, and Hailey Bryant.  Neva is also survived by her half-brother Norman Smyer. Her half-brother Bennie Smyer preceded her in death.      

Neva was born on a farm in Texas County, Mo. Her mother was killed in an accident when Neva was six, and she was raised by her maternal grandparents from that age. After graduating from Cabool High School, she went to Springfield and found employment as an operator for the telephone company. After the birth of her first son, she became a full-time mother. Due to changes in Brodie’s career, the family moved to Springfield in 1951, and then to Independence in 1956. After Brodie was killed in 1961 while on active duty in the Air Force, she went to work for Allis-Chalmers in Independence as a secretary. She remained there until 1979, retiring as an accounts payable supervisor. In 1997, she moved back to Texas County near the farm where she grew up to be closer to her many relatives in the area. In 2003, she moved to Mountain Grove.                                            

Over the years, Neva pursued many interests. She enjoyed making quilts, and had a garden most of her life. When her children were of Cub Scout age, she became a den mother.  She greatly enjoyed flying. She got her pilot’s license in 1965 and became half owner of a 1947 Funk airplane. After her retirement, she became a rock hound, and enjoyed searching for various minerals and making jewelry and other items from the rocks she found. She took up golf, where she met her second husband, Jim, and on another memorable occasion got a hole-in-one.  She had a strong interest in genealogy, and published several books based on her research. She was an avid tourist, having traveled as far as Germany, Alaska and Mexico. For many years, she owned a motor home in which she toured the United States.

Neva was greatly loved and will be missed by her family and many friends.

Visitation for Neva Raney are 10 a.m. Monday, March 16, 2020, at Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home.  Funeral services follow the visitation at 11 a.m., also at the funeral home, with Pastor Justin DeVries officiating.  Song selections were “In The Garden,” “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,” and “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”  David Virtue, Norman Freeman, Zane Mulberry, Steve Anderson, Gary Roark and Bill Gooch will serve as pallbearers. Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery, Mountain Grove, Mo., under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home. Family has requested memorial contributions be made to American Heart Association or American Cancer Society.

Online condolences may be made at

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