June 21, 1938 – November 16, 2011 In Loving Memory.
Bay Minette, AL
Evelyn Hope Neely
Writer, Historian, and Archaeologist, Died on November 16, 2011, at the age of 73.
Hope, as her family and friends know her, was born on June 21, 1938, in New York City, but was, like the rest of her family, a true and devoted Southerner, and, as a child, grew up primarily in Bay Minette, here in Alabama, with her grandmother, Lauda Dale (Mixon) Leak, but also spent time going back and forth to New York with her mother, Evelyn (Leak) Neely.
While at Montevallo, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree, Hope was a Miss Alabama contestant, a painter, a musician, and a dreamer, but this is where she began to really hone her writing skill. She was a woman and writer of varied and uncommon gifts, by turns romantic and cynical, realistic and ethereal, lyric and colloquial. Her insights into grief, nurturing, compassion, and adventure could all be seen and felt clearly when speaking with her or reading her work.
Though most of her adult life was spent in the south, primarily in Mobile, the New York theme arose again in her early adulthood when, during the tail end of the Beat Movement, she lived in the West Village on Perry Street, and could, as she put it ‘