• Roger Nealy

Roger Nealy

The Angelic Hosts came for Roger Nealy on Feb. 2, 2023, at Freestone Medical Center, Fairfield.

Nealy said, “He was taught to work.”

Roger Nealy was the 11th child of 18 children born to Wilmus and Wattie Nealy. All were born and raised in Teague.

“We were taught to work,” said Mr. Nealy. “If there was a penny to be made, one of the Nealy children was there.”

Wilmus Nealy worked for the railroad and after school you could find Roger at the railroad depot. His grandfather, Ben Watts, owned a grocery store in the part of town referred to as “The Beat.”

His parents worked hard, too. They grew a huge garden and raised hogs, cows, and chickens so the children worked at home as well.

“As many of us as there were, we were never hungry,” said Roger. “My dad hunted and fished as well, and my mother could make a fine meal out of anything we had.”

“Back in the early days there was an oil mill at the west end of Ash Street. Farmers would bring cotton seed and peanuts to make oil from. Many people were hired to work the mill when it was going strong,” said Nealy. It was located within walking distance of the Nealy property.

All the Nealy children attended Booker T. Washington High School, where all five of the boys played football as well as other sports.

Roger said, “All the kids would walk down the tracks from north town to south town to get to school.”

Booker T. Washington was located across the railroad tracks from the Teague Railroad Depot (currently the B-RI Railroad Museum). At that time he attended school with a little country girl named Doris Foreman, who was bused to Booker T. from the Simsboro community, however, after graduation they went their separate ways.

The Nealy children all graduated and many went on to earn college degrees.

Roger graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1954.

“I thought that I would go into business like my grandfather but it didn’t work out that way,” said Roger.

He did however, go into the food and beverage industry. “I always had the dream and ambition to be in business for myself. It was something that I instinctively knew and I was good at,” Roger said.

He moved to Fort Worth and worked at various restaurants and clubs. At that time, he was also in Real Estate with Russell Blair Custom Homes.

Roger Nealy was into so many businesses, some at the same time. While he was managing N ealy bars in Dallas, he also sold clothes.

At one time Nealy operated a club in Fort Worth, The Congo Lounge. In the late 1960’s, he was instrumental in integrating many of the places where he was managing.

During this time Roger was married and had two children: Roger Pierre Nealy, who was employed by Raytheon for 20 years and Fannie May Companies. He currently owns his own business.

Roger’s daughter, Rogena D., has an Associate degree in Criminology, a Bachelor degree from Lamar University and a Master’s degree from the University of Houston. She is currently employed by Harris Methodist Hospital System as a Case Manager.

Roger worked much of his life managing bars - but don’t call him a bartender.

“I’m a Mixologist,” he would say, with a smile.

A mixologist doesn’t just pour drinks into a glass, they know all about what liquids to mix, and why they don’t go with others; develop tastes with syrups and infusions that make drinks better and design drinks. They are the caretakers of the customers, making sure that they have a good time and a safe time.

Roger was always connected with people who could help him and his business. At one time on his journey when he was doing catering, he would set up the box at Dallas Cowboys games for Trammel Crow and many times he was invited to join them for the football game.

He was a very dabber dresser and even molded clothes for businesses.

When he was single once again, Roger met up with Doris Foreman Price who lived in Beaumont and the mother of three daughters, Ricarda, Lydia and DeLisa. They began seeing each other and eventually married.

That is when Roger’s last dream was fulfilled. He relocated to Beaumont and opened D & R Days End Lounge in Beaumont.

The customers who frequently came to the club were owners of businesses, industry and various other professions in the city. While in business in Beaumont he sponsored a baseball team and participated in the Annual “Toys for Tot’s” at Christmas.

He and Doris owned the building and property where they rented space to a beauty shop, barber shop and a bakery.

Roger retired in 1997 and took care of their real estate while Doris worked. She developed and oversaw an Associate degree program at Lamar University that ran for 40 years.

Doris retired in 1999 and they moved back to Teague. Roger was diagnosed with a chance of developing cancer in 2011 and doctors began watching him closely.

Shortly after 2015, cancer cells developed, and Roger began treatment.

He told all men, “Seek early intervention. I believe one can live a quality life, even with cancer.”

Roger and Doris delivered Meals on Wheels, have volunteered at the B-RI Railroad and Historical Museum, and participated in Relay for Life. Roger has always been a hunter and fisherman and still enjoyed these sports.”

The Teague Chronicle

319 Main Street • P.O. Box 631
Teague, Texas 75860
Office: (254) 739-2141
Fax: (254) 739-2144