Neva was born May 7, 1922, at home on her parent’s farm in Harrison Township, Mahaska County, Iowa, the daughter of Ray M. Welton and Emma (Loyd) Welton. She graduated from Cedar High School in Cedar and attended cosmetology school in Newton. She started her career as a beautician in Newton, where she met and married William R. Van Cleave, Sr. They moved to Loveland, in 1956 along with their two sons where they operated a full service gas station and garage. Upon the death of her husband in 1980, Neva worked for Colorado State University until 1985 when she married her longtime friend, Bayard Shadley.
Neva moved to Bayard’s hometown of Osceola, Okla., where she assisted with Bayard’s mayoral duties for several terms of office. They traveled extensively, visiting several countries including Russia and England, as well as, cruises to Alaska until Bayard’s death in 1995.
Neva moved to Ponca City in 2001 and became a member of First Baptist Church where she was a member of the Silvertones choir and WMU. She enjoyed singing in the choir and especially the friendships she made in the years she was able to participate. But most of all, she enjoyed her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her two sons, Ray Van Cleave, Jr., and his wife, Sharon, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Chuck and his wife, Lana, of Ponca City.; five grandchildren, Chanda Van Cleave of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Kris Van Cleave of Washington, D.C., Justin Van Cleave of Sand Point, Idaho, Erica Van Cleave of Post Falls, Idaho, and Anna (Ed) George of Ponca City; and by seven great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters, Vida Reed of Arlington, Texas, Alice Barnard of Oskaloosa and Rae Turley of Phoenix, Ariz.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands and two sisters, Evelen Randell of Iowa and Martha Jane Youngker of Ariz.
She was available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, at Trout Funeral Home and Crematory, 505 W. Grand Ave., in Ponca City. She will be buried at a private ceremony in Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First Baptist Church of Ponca City.