Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 5, 2013

Peggy Joyce Barrett Neal

BLUEFIELD — Peggy Joyce Barrett Neal, age 79, of Bluefield, Va., passed away Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at Bluefield Regional Medical Center following a brief hospital stay.

Born on March 23, 1933, she was a lifelong resident of Bluefield, Va. She was the daughter of the late Kyle and Margaret Grace Barrett.

Her husband of 58 years, Donald E. Neal, preceded her in death on Dec. 19, 2012, and her son, Timothy Neal in March 2009. She was also preceded in death by her sister, Dorothy Barrett Painter; and her brothers William T. Barrett and James H. Barrett.

Survivors include her daughter, Nancy Neal of Cleveland, Tenn.; son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Ardena Neal of Bluefield, Va.; grandsons, Kyle Neal of Charlotte, N.C., Jared Neal of Misenheimer, N.C., and Blake Neal of Princeton; her brothers, Jack Barrett of Melbourne, Fla., and Richard “Dick” Barrett of Middlesboro, Ky.; and several nieces and nephews also survive her.

Peggy Neal’s legacy was one of love, laughter, faith and a song for all seasons. She passionately loved her family and friends, sacrificing to ensure their care and comfort til her health limited her physical ability to do so. Her kindness and compassion were reflected in the workplace as a nurse’s aide for Dr. P.P. Ferraccio and as a teacher’s aide for Tazewell County Schools, where her lap of love was often a source of comfort for kindergartners.

She learned early that laughter is good medicine, and her characteristic laugh was memorable and infectious. Even in the face of many years of physical adversity, she always managed a smile.

With her husband, hers was a life of servanthood. She was a devoted member of the Bluefield, Va. Church of God til the time of her death. She taught Sunday school; directed the ladies chorus for special holiday performances; sang in duets, trios and quartets for worship services; taught Vacation Bible School music; and served as church pianist for more than 50 years. The Neals regularly provided meals and other assistance for families in need both in their church and throughout the community.

Peggy was most widely recognized for her skill as a pianist. She possessed a unique ability to “play by ear” most any song in any genre and for any occasion. In addition to her role as church musician and accompanist, she was frequently invited to play for community events, including area revivals, March of Dimes telethons and a variety of impromptu concerts with friends. In 1995 she earned recognition as the first ever national champion for the Church of God Senior Adult Talent, instrumental solo keyboard.

A celebration of her life will be conducted Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 at 3 p.m. at the Church of God in Bluefield, Va. with Drs. Lynn and Mary Ruth Stone officiating. The service of committal will take place immediately following at Maple Hill Cemetery with the Rev. Tony Ellis officiating.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

Friends may visit with the family Sunday from 1:30 p.m. until the service hour.

In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to The Neuropathy Association, www.neuropathy.org, or The Neuropathy Association Inc., 60 E. 42nd St., Suite # 942, New York, N.Y. 10165.

Dudley Memorial Mortuary of Bluefield, Va. is serving the Neal family.

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