Kings County, Stratford icon, Mary Coelho Neves, passes at 102 years old

By The Leader Staff
Mary Coelho Neves dies at 102
Mary Coelho Neves dies at 102
Photo Courtesy Joe Neves

Friends and family, with heavy hearts, announced the passing of their Avo and a wonderful woman, Mary Coelho Neves, on September 14, 2016 in Hanford, CA. She had recently turned 102 years old.

Mary was born April 26, 1914 in Corcoran, California to Antonio S. Coelho and Maria M. Coelho, both natives of the Azores Islands. Mary’s family moved to a 40-acre ranch just outside of Stratford in 1918, where she was raised with a brother and two sisters.

Mary noted that they were the first family to get electricity in Stratford. Mary married Manuel B. Neves in 1933 and moved with him to operate a small dairy and farm with 320 acres of crops. Mary was a very progressive woman who drove herself to Lemoore to shop; worked as a babysitter for several families in Stratford; cooked for the Head Start program in Stratford, Lemoore and the Santa Rosa Rancheria, and worked on the Election Board as a precinct officer at the Stratford polling place for many years.

Mary was also a member of the Stratford Alter Society and Lemoore Women’s Club. Mary believed young people were the future, and she took a great interest in their education. She was a leader for the Stratford 4-H Club and taught catechism at St. Joseph’s Church in Stratford.

Mary is preceded in death by her parents, one brother, two sisters, her husband Manuel, and her son Junior. She is survived by her grandson Joe, and wife Kathy, from Stratford, granddaughter Regina Avina (George) from Lemoore; niece Betty Fabela (Joe) from Hanford, and nephews Arnold, Bob, and Joe Morgado.

Mary also leaves behind seven great-grandchildren, 10 great-great-grandchildren, and numerous Martin and Neves cousins from the Stratford, Lemoore, and Hanford area.

The viewing will be held Tuesday, September 20 at Phipps-Dale Funeral Chapel from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A rosary and mass will be held Wednesday, September 21 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Lemoore, with interment at the Lemoore Cemetery. The family ask that those wishing to, can make donations to their favorite charity. We would like to thank all those at Kings Nursing and Rehab for taking such good care of Mary and making her final days comfortable.

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