Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
Donald Edwin Neal, age 79, of Bluefield, Va., passed away Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at Bluefield Regional Medical Center following a short illness.
Born on Oct. 16, 1933, and a lifelong resident of Bluefield, Va., he was the son of the late Thomas and Darthula Slaughter Neal.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Peggy Barrett Neal; his daughter, Nancy Neal of Cleveland, Tenn.; his son, Gary (Ardena) Neal of Bluefield, Va.; and grandsons, Kyle Neal of Charlotte, N.C., Jared Neal of Misenheimer, N.C., and Blake Neal of Princeton. His is also survived by his sister, Margaret “Polly” Stacy of Kingsport, Tenn., and numerous nieces and nephews.
Don Neal’s life was one of servant leadership. Long recognized as a pillar of strength in his family, his faith, his business and his community, he was a devoted member of the Bluefield, Va. Church of God for 57 years. He taught Sunday school for nearly 50 years, served as church clerk and in various other lay positions.
Don went to work at Bluefield Monument Company in 1952, purchased the company in 1983 and transferred it to his son, Gary, in 2005. Although he retired in 2002, he continued to arrive at the company early Monday through Friday until the time of his death.
A skilled craftsman, he loved to work with his hands, from digging the foundation for the church he attended to freehand designs for memorials to carpentry work at Camp Joy to making blue-ribbon biscuits for numerous meetings.
His tireless and extensive community service has included positions as chairman or president of Clinch Valley Community Action; Bluefield Business and Professional Association; Habitat for Humanity; Bluefield Union Mission; United Way of the Virginias; Maple Hill Cemetery Commission; Tazewell County Fair Association; Town Zoning Board of Appeals; and Kiwanis Club of Bluefield, Va. He represented the Kiwanis Club for many years as Santa Claus, visiting patients and staff at local hospitals.
In May 2010 the Clinch Valley Community Action organization named their offices the Donald E. Neal Building in his honor.
He was a member of the Tazewell County Chamber of Commerce and served on the Tazewell County Council. He was also a member of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, which awarded him the Robert Francis Hamilton Award in 2006 for superior community service in his region.
A lifelong member of the Virginia PTA, he was a founder of Parent Teacher Associations in Tazewell County Schools.
He chaired the Democratic party in the Eastern District of Tazewell County.
A celebration of life will be conducted Saturday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Church of God in Bluefield, Va. with the Rev. Tony Ellis, Sen. Phillip Puckett and Dr. K.B. Arnold officiating. A service of committal will take place Sunday, Dec. 23 at 2 p.m. at Maple Hill Cemetery. Those wishing to participate in the graveside services should meet at Dudley Memorial Mortuary by 1:45 p.m. on Sunday.
Friends may visit with the family Saturday from 3 p.m. until the service hour.
Dudley Memorial Mortuary of Bluefield, Va. is serving the Neal family.