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Cleta Louise Hagan Neely

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Cleta Louise Hagan Neely, 87, died Monday, Dec. 20, 2004, at Audrain County Medical Center.

She was born May 6, 1917, in Dexter, the youngest of five children of Silas and Sarah Book. At Dexter High School, she was an outstanding student and played basketball. She graduated from Missouri Baptist School of Nursing with an RN degree. She moved to Mexico and was introduced to John C. Hagan II by her brother, Tom Book. They both described the meeting as love at first sight. Cleta and John were married and had three children. John was killed in a plane crash July 2, 1954. She raised her children working as a surgical nurse at Audrain Medical Center and as an office nurse for Drs. Garcia, O'Brien and Davis.

On Oct. 17, 1958, she married Forrest Glen Neely. Among their greatest joys was playing golf with friends and family. She was an expert golfer and won the Mexico Country Club Women's Championship in 1967 shooting a women's all-time course record 72. Forrst Neely died on June 14, 1975. She enjoyed her family and playing golf and bridge with her many friends.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Tom Book; and sisters, Geneva Book, Pansy Farris and Edna Jennings.

She is survived by her children, John C. Hagan III, M.D., and wife Becky of Kansas City, Mary Jo Hagan Benhardt and husband Beau of St. Louis and Warren e. Hagan, M.D., of Poplar Bluff; grandchildren, Carol A. Hagan, Ph. D. of Philadelphia, Catherine E. Hagan, D.V.M. of Seattle, Marikate Benhardt and Sarah Benhardt of St. Louis, Jason Hagan, Ashley Hagan, K.C. Hagan, and John Hagan IV, all of Tallahassee, Fla.; great grandchild, Nathaniel Hagan Farber of Philadelphia; and 14 nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Brendan's Catholic Churchat 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004. Cremation followed with interment in St. Brendan's Catholic Cemetery. There was no visitation.

The family has requested no flowers and memorials may be made to St. Brendan's Catholic Church or the American Heart Association.


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