A Tribute to Wendy Neat

I met Wendy Neat shortly after Roasters Coffee Cafe “re-opened” in early 2013. I was excited to find out that someone had bought the coffee shop where a few months before I spent a couple of days a week working on my blog and book. Now I had my offsite “office” back.

The new staff immediately impressed me as I began to frequent the coffee shop. Something felt different about the place. I soon met Eric and Wendy Neat. Then I understood.

The Neats have created a family atmosphere in their coffee shop. Over time I have come to feel like a part of this family. I walk in, many staff call me by name or at least greet me with a “I know you” hello. They often ask me if I wanted my medium latte before I say a word. One day I ordered at the drive through window. As soon as I pulled up to place my order the barista cheerfully said, “Hello, want your medium latte?” I just laughed.

It was easy to see the pride Wendy took in running their business. She treated her employees with respect, greeted each customer with a bright smile, and constantly was cleaning around the store, even climbing on top of a counter to dust a sign high on a wall!.

When I was looking for a place for the launch of my first book last summer, Roasters was my first choice. I approached Wendy about the idea which she immediately embraced. It was through that correspondence with Wendy and Eric that I learned their secret (which I already had my suspicion) They were committed Christ followers.

The more time I spent at Roasters, the more I observed their faith in action. So much so that Danielle, my wife, and I decided to visit the church they attend.

My heart sank a couple of months ago when I was told that Wendy had been diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer. Even though I only know Eric and Wendy from their coffee cafe, I do feel like a part of at least that family.

How Wendy, Eric, and their family have handled her diagnosis and battle only reinforces what I have observed over the past year or so.

Sadness, yes. But joy in the midst of their sorrow.

In everything I have seen them do and all that they are, they reflect who Jesus is. That is refreshing.

I know that the days ahead will be difficult for Eric and his family. But because I am a part their Roasters family, I will pray, cry, uplift, and continue to support them.

Like so many others who knew Wendy, either very well or just through their coffee cafe, I will miss her smile and her transparent love for God and others.

Here is a Facebook post she made on their MyGodisbiggerthancancer page just over a week before she passed:

Hello everyone!!!  I have been out of commission for a while now and for that I apologize. You are all so wonderful about encouraging me daily! I want to say a HUGE ~ THANK YOU to each one of you!!! Going forward I want this journey to be all about Glorifying God and seeking His will daily. I feel led to share my story and my journey because people need to know that it is possible to have JOY at all times (even in the darkest of moments). My Hope is in Jesus Christ alone because apart from him I can do nothing, but with Him, I can do ANYTHING, including beat this disease!!!!  I will just forewarn you that, between my meds and lack of sleep, my posts may be crazy sometimes. Please bear with me and when you notice just laugh with me .Wendy Neat

What a testimony! What a Legacy!

Wendy leaves behind her husband, Eric, and three precious children. If you want to make a donation to help cover unforeseen upcoming costs, go to http://www.gofundme.com/mygodisbiggerthancancer.

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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

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4 thoughts on “A Tribute to Wendy Neat

  1. Very beautifully written. My story is very similar to yours on how we met. I will miss seeing and chatting with her on my daily visits there so much.

  2. Beautiful lady inside and out! Even though I didn’t know her well she brought joy into my life. I still remember the first time I met her. He bright eyes and smile welcomed and her joy was contagious.

    May The Lord Jesus Christ give strength and peace to her husband and children in the days ahead.

  3. Beautifully said! I didn’t personally know the Neats, but I live in their neighborhood and it’s been amazing to see how the community has come together to help them out. They are amazing with strong characters because I can’t even imagine what it must be like. It’s been great to get to know them through the eyes of people that admire them so much 🙂
    Cheers!