Harvey Imbeau died on April 1, 2016. There was no funeral, not even a gathering for his friends to say good-bye.

Harvey Imbeau died on April 1, 2016. There was no funeral, not even a gathering for his friends to say good-bye.
Now, almost a year later, that wrong is being corrected as Harvey's friends come together to celebrate the life of one of the most unusual characters to call Neosho home.
Harvey was born in Commerce, Oklahoma, where he and his brother was raised by their mother, Jean Imbeau, an elementary school teacher.
Blessed with both musical and artistic talent, Harvey chose to study music in college and trained as a music teacher. He first taught in southern Oklahoma, but in 1964 he took a music position in the Neosho School District. Shortly after he came to Neosho, his mother began teaching first grade here.
After five years, Harvey moved on, teaching in a junior college for a while and eventually ending up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By then he had given up teaching and was working in a restaurant and had started painting. The restaurant was near a Harley-Davidson motorcycle plant and several riders got him to paint their beautiful custom-painted bikes.
But then Harvey suffered a stroke and was without work. That's when he returned to Neosho and began the last part of his life.
In Neosho, Harvey continued to paint, and he began to write.
Proud of his Native American heritage, Harvey did some artistic work for his Quapaw tribe as well as taking on other commissions. He became interested in the Native Americans who fought in the Civil War and produced a wonderful book, co-written with historian Linda Childress.
But there was another side to Harvey. He loved classic cars. Even as a boy, he dreamed of various cars that he might own. He especially wanted a 1957 Thunderbird. He never got one, but he did get a chance to buy another classic that he kept until his death last year.
About a dozen years before his death, Harvey found a 1964 Ford Mustang convertible. He said it was in terrible shape—a piece of junk he said. Because of Harvey's physical limitations, he never worked on the car but several men from here and from Oklahoma began restoring it.
His Mustang was a true classic because it was an off-year model. The Ford Mustang was born in March of 1964 and introduced to the public in April of that year. A few months later, Ford offered a new version called the 1964 1/2 model. Only 121,538 of this model were built and only 28,883 were convertibles. Years later, Harvey was able to snag one of those convertibles, fulfilling a childhood dream of owning a classic car.
After seven or eight years of restoration, Harvey's Mustang was a thing of beauty. He loved driving it around Neosho, especially in summer with the top down and the wind spreading Harvey's smile even wider.
Until his death, Harvey continued to drive his Mustang and to paint and enjoy music. His favorite musicians: Bach and Pink Floyd.
Very soon, Harvey's friends will give this unusual and lovable character the sendoff he deserves.