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November 22, 1939 - March 30, 2018

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Johnny Charles Atwell, Sr., 78, of Neelyville, passed away, Friday, March 30, 2018, at the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.

He was born November 22, 1939, to Nathaniel H. and M. Earline (Parrish) Atwell in Naylor, MO.  He graduated from Neelyville High School in 1957 and married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Louise Hover, on May 10, 1958.

Johnny and Dorothy, upon their marriage, moved to St. Louis where Johnny worked in a filling station and a Quansett Truck Stop.  They soon returned to Neelyville and farmed for many years.  Happily and proudly, Johnny accomplished a long time dream of becoming a pilot flying small aircraft.   He was owner/operator of Atwell Flying Service, providing agricultural aerial application with a helicopter in Neelyville and surrounding areas. His favorite part of the job was taking farmers, their kids, and anyone who wanted to go for a helicopter ride from one field to the next.  He also contracted with the U. S. Forestry Service working with controlled burns, pollinating corn in Indiana and Illinois, spraying the coal mine pits for mosquitoes in Illinois, and worked in aerial application in Arkansas.  Johnny’s last occupation before becoming disabled was custom grain hauling.  In his younger years, Johnny had been a member of the Walnut Grove Baptist Church and served on the Neelyville R-IV School Board for 14 years.  Johnny enjoyed riding in small aircraft whenever he had an opportunity, reading, playing yo-yo, hearing good jokes, watching westerns and country music shows, listening to talk radio, gardening, taking drives and seeing the countryside, talking to anyone who would listen, and being with his family.

Johnny is survived by his loving spouse of 59 years, Dorothy; his wonderful mother, Earline Atwell of Poplar Bluff; his siblings H. Annette Epps of Brandon, FL, Sam (Fran) Atwell of Poplar Bluff, Sandra  Graham of Hereford, NC; his children, Debra (Gary) Parish, Cassondra Gilmore, Johnny C. Atwell, Jr. “Charlie” (Brenda Gail), and Sirena (Chad) Jones all of Neelyville.  He is also survived by 5 grandchildren, Jeffrey (Misty) Gilmore, Mandy (Andy) Moore, Elizabeth (Jared) Beaird, Brena Atwell, and Michaela Jones; and 9 great-grandchildren, Alexandra Gilmore (River Hatton), Hunter, Hank, and Hestin Gilmore, Jackson and Maclaren Moore, Ellison, Layton, and Harlan Beaird.   Also surviving are Dorothy’s siblings, Donald (Geraldine) Hover of Harviell, MO, Ronald Hover of Harviell, MO, Shirley (Jim) Payne of Wentzville, MO, and Nellie (Tom) Kirkley of Poplar Bluff.  He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.  Johnny was proceeded in death by his grandparents, John and Lillie (Gambill) Atwell and Charles and Bertha (Ennis) Parrish; in-laws, John and Purma (Morrow) Hover; his father N.H. Atwell; granddaughter, Sheri Gilmore; brothers-in-law, D. Robert Epps and Thomas M. Graham; and a sister-in-law Sue Hover.

Visitation will be held from 6-8 on Monday, April 2, 2018 at Moore Funeral Service in Poplar Bluff.

Funeral services will be on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 2:00 in the Moore Funeral Service Chapel with the Rev. Bobby Brooks officiating.  Interment will be at the Kinsey Cemetery in Harviell, MO.

The family asks that memorials be made to charities of choice.

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