On Friday, February 11, 2022, Alice “Tobi” Neeley Voyles, loving wife, mother, and “Nanny”, passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by loving family, at the age of 85.
Tobi was born on May 18, 1936, in Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida to Katherine Hurst Neeley and Artis LeRoy Neeley. She and her sister, Lawanna, have been best of friends their entire lives and enjoyed a happy childhood in Live Oak being raised on their Aunt Bertie and Uncle David Neeley’s farm after the sudden death of their father when Tobi was 3 years old. The Neeley’s were a very close, large, fun, and loving extended family of grandparents, many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Growing up was full of fun family gatherings with parties, Fish Fry’s, lots of watermelon, homemade ice cream and plenty of berry cobbler. Tobi and Lawanna were referred to as “the babies”, and they knew they were treasured.
In high school, Tobi met the love of her life, Joseph “Ken” Kennard Voyles. Tobi always claimed to have “caught the eye of the most handsome guy in school.” Ken left Live Oak for Washington D.C. to begin college and work for the FBI. Tobi soon followed Ken to D.C. and the two were married later that summer, on August 8, 1954, and then sealed together for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on August 20, 1963. They enjoyed 67 years of marriage filled with love and devotion to each other.
Both Ken and Tobi worked at the FBI headquarters under J. Edgar Hoover’s tenure. Tobi was intelligent, hardworking, and she quickly mastered the art of stenography and kept her impressive ability to write in “shorthand” dictation for years to follow. This is also where she developed her remarkable expertise in organization and record keeping skills.
After starting their family, Tobi became a fulltime wife, mother and homemaker. This was the highlight of her life, where she shone brightest, serving her family with her many talents and admirable attributes. Together, Ken and Tobi raised 7 Children and 1 Granddaughter. Brenda Voyles Marsh (John) of Ocala FL, Cindy Voyles (Robert Stack) of Lake Wales FL, Marsha Voyles Beatse, of Ponte Vedra Beach FL, Braxton Voyles (Eileen) of Hershey PA, Brian Voyles (Teri) of Lexington KY, Brent Voyles (Amanda) of Sun Valley ID, Brandon Voyles (Stacie) of Provo UT, and Susan Turner of Fleming Island FL.
Tobi was in the front row of more ball games, graduations, baby blessings, baptisms, and weddings to count, where she made each of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren feel special and cherished. Her legacy of love and loyalty is a gift her family will always hold, and her life stands for all that knew her as an example of faith, hard work, love, service and devotion.
Over the years Ken and Tobi lived in Washington DC, Jacksonville FL, Amarillo TX, Oklahoma City OK, Greenville SC, Roswell GA and most recently – in their retirement years – Ocala, Florida.
Ken introduced Tobi to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and she was baptized a member at the age of 18. Her stalwart faith throughout the years manifest through continual service and sacrifice. Tobi loved the gospel of Jesus Christ and treasured her Church membership. Aside from being a lifelong missionary, and mother and grandmother of several missionaries, she and Ken served a 2-year fulltime mission together as a senior couple. She enjoyed serving in Church in many capacities during her lifetime, including Ward Primary President, Ward and Stake Relief Society President, and most recently, serving as a Temple Worker in the LDS Orlando Florida Temple.
Tobi will always be remembered as the quintessential Southern lady – gracious, refined, and beautiful with a heart of gold. She was truly our Southern Belle.
Tobi is preceded in death by her parents, Katherine and Roy Neeley, son-in-law’s, John Marsh and Scott Beatse. She is survived by her husband Ken, her sister Lawanna Neeley Hulfeld, her 7 Children and their spouses, 20 Grandchildren and their spouses, and 15 Great Grandchildren.
A private Memorial Service will be held at a later date where she will be interred in the City of Live Oak Cemetery, Live Oak, Florida.
Although Cholangiocarcinoma took her life, her final days were made comfortable and pain free. The family would like to express our deepest appreciation to Hospice of Marion County, and especially her nurse, Dana, for providing loving comfort care to our mother during the past 2 months. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to Hospice of Marion County in Ocala, Florida.