MaryBea Neu remembered for her adventurous, humorous spirit |

MaryBea Neu remembered for her adventurous, humorous spirit

Noelle Leavitt Riley
MaryBea Neu passed away on March 4, 2015.
Courtesy Photo

As the moon climbed over the horizon of Moffat County on March 4, 2015, MaryBea Neu’s spirit rose to Heaven. It’s was a suitable ending to a life filled with family, happiness, humor and adventure.

“There was this big, huge beautiful moon outside, and my mom was known for mooning. It’s kind of her signature trade,” said MaryBea’s daughter Melody Villard. “So we got a laugh out of that.”

The laughter was wonderful reminder of how much humor MaryBea shared with the world during her 60 years of life.

Her caring and nurturing spirit touched all those who crossed her path, and if nothing else, she could always make people smile.

“Over and over and over, laughter comes up. Just how happy she was,” Melody said of her mother.

MaryBea had other gifts, too. She had the ability to listen and take those in need under her wings, making them feel special.

“She took time for everyone, and if it was your time, she’d shut the rest of the world out and was just focused on you,” Melody said.

MaryBea was married to her second husband, Larry Neu for nearly 30 years. They were neighbors and met when her two sons accidentally broke Larry’s car window when hitting rocks with tennis rackets. The couple later owned Northwest Diesel together.

Perhaps the most exciting heritage of her memory will stay alive through her adventurous stories that have already been passed down from one generation to the next.

She loved to “spin kitties,” which is much like making doughnuts in the dirt with a vehicle. MaryBea would show up at a house by spinning her car out in the dirt driveway. To top it all off, she once flipped a racecar while competing on a race track.

MaryBea didn’t have a bucket list, as she lived her adventures as they came, never declining thrilling moments that life presented.

In early February, the community came together to support MaryBea, holding a live auction to help with the medical costs associated with her illness.

The event raised more than $30,000 to help cover the costs of alternative cancer treatments for MaryBea.

When her health started to decline at the end of February, MaryBea asked Melody to write six checks to others in the community who were battling hard times. MaryBea gave $10,000 to others fighting illness and cancer in Moffat County.

With MaryBea’s permission, the family put the rest of the money into a memorial fund that they will distribute to others in need as time goes on.

All donations can be made to the MaryBea Neu memorial through Yampa Valley Bank and will go into that same pool of money to “pay it forward,” Melody said.

MaryBea will forever be remembered for the joyous spirit she brought out in those who knew her well.

Born on March 16, 1954 to Chloe and Richard Robertson, MaryBea was one of five children. Her full name is Mary Beatrice, and her mother was a music teacher in Moffat County. Her father’s family homesteaded in the county and his descendants ran sheep in both Moffat County and Wyoming.

MaryBea’s siblings are Jim (Terri) Robertson, George and Monty Robertson and Beth (Tom) Gilcrest. Beth was the baby of the family.

Her legacy will live on through her three children Matt and Martin Vassek and Melody (Albert) Villard; her six grand children Shannon Russ, Lauren Elliot, Kelton, Chloe, Rylee and Tess Villard; and her two great grandkids, Galen and Eowyn.

A public viewing will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at Grant Mortuary in Craig on Tuesday followed by a rosary at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Craig at 6 p.m. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

Those who have further questions can call her family at 970-824-9302.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.