Jay Wardell Neves

Jay Wardell Neves

Nov. 28, 1950 ~ May 31, 2022


Jay Wardell Neves passed away on May 31, 2022 due to complications from surgery.

Jay was born Nov. 28, 1950, in Lovell, Wyo. to Melvin J and Irma Neves. Three sisters joined the family – Pamela, Delsa and Vickie.  He grew up in his lifelong home of Otto, Wyo. – where he loved the land, horses, cows, mountains and his family.  Snow skiing, water skiing, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, fossil-finding, and camping were hobbies enjoyed while farming and ranching. He danced with the Valhalla Folk Dancers at the then Ricks College and toured Europe with this dance team.  He has a degree in drafting/architecture. 

He met Susan Kay Jones in the middle of a water fight at BYU. She encouraged him to serve a church mission and wrote him throughout those two years. He came home from his mission and married her six weeks later on Aug. 19, 1978, in the Salt Lake City temple.

They wanted to build a home and had dreams to have a large family.  While farming in the spring and summer and working construction in the winter, they worked together at night to build their Otto home. They were blessed with nine children: Chelsi, Taubi, Whitney, Charee’, Courtney, Coulter, Wesley, Paige, and Sadie. He and Susan worked together to teach their children to play different instruments. Jay would cook hot cereal and mounds of toast in the morning while Susan would teach them violin and piano before school. He followed them all over the state as they performed at weddings, state functions, parades and church activities. The children worked alongside him as he patiently taught them mechanics, plumbing, construction, farm and ranch work. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas included a family construction project – roofing, cement laying, drywalling, and flooring.  He showed by example that he valued family more than anything. He was a quiet man but was not afraid to vocalize his support for his family in sports, music, and college athletics.

Jay was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in scouting for decades, a temple worker, bishop of the Otto ward and many other callings.  He did this because he had an unwavering love for the Lord – and the people of the Otto ward.

Jay was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin and Irma Neves. 

He is survived by his wife Susan and their children  Chelsi (Travis) Graham, Taubi (Jeff) Palmer, Whitney (Jenna) Neves, Charee’ (Cameron) Critchfield, Courtney (Hannah) Neves, Coulter (Katy) Neves, Wesley (Ashlee) Neves, Paige (Gage) Downing, and Sadie (Ethan) Bryce, and 25 grandchildren: Toran, Mikayla, Leah, Levi, Tyler, Tayna, Otto, Jalan, Tilly, Tuck, Milo, Mack, Nash, Addy, Bryant, Oakley, Everly, Justin, Savannah, Lola, Donovan, Tate, Jax, Tyson, and Susan.

We are grateful to the family, friends, and medical personnel that tended to Jay over the last few weeks.

In lieu of flowers, Jay requested that contributions be made to the Otto ward missionary fund for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.