Martha Neal, 92, passed away June 18, 2018 at Pine Crest Guest Home in Hazlehurst, MS.
Visitation will be Wednesday, June 20 at Stringer Family Funeral Services in Crystal Springs from 5 – 8 pm. Service will be held Thursday, June 21 at 11 am at the funeral home chapel. Interment will be at Poplar Springs Cemetery in Crystal Springs.
She was born September 26, 1925 in Crystal Springs, MS to Leon and Inez Brown Ferguson. She graduated from Crystal Springs High School in 1943 at the age of 17. She attended Atlanta Business School for 3 months before moving to Washington, D.C. to work for the Army Chemical Corps for a year. She moved back home and married Paul E. Neal of Springfield, Ohio after he returned from duty in Europe at the end of WWII, They were married on July 18, 1945. To this union, three daughters were born.
As a communicant of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Crystal Springs, she worked with the youth of the church, served as a district officer for the Episcopal Church Women and a delegate to church council for many years. In previous years, she was a member of Crystal Springs United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School and MYF and was a member of the Susannah Circle women’s group. Mrs. Neal was an active member of the PTA for 23 years while her three daughters were in school, serving as president for 4 of those years. She was a Beta Club sponsor and Teen Center Counselor during her girls’ school years also. She served as county chairman for the March of Dimes for several years, was of member of the American Business Women’s Assn. where she served as president of the local chapter and was selected “Woman of the Year”. She was honored at the national ABWA convention along with others. After serving the local unit of the American Legion Auxiliary, she held district and state offices. She was elected state president in 1969 and National Executive Committeewoman in 1970. For many years Mrs, Neal worked with local businesses and schools to send high school students to Boys’ and Girls’ State. She is listed in the 1970 edition of Personalities of the South. Mrs. Neal with several others helped to organize Service Over Self (SOS) food pantry in Crystal Springs, which is still operated there by volunteers.
Martha worked at Kuhlman Electric Company (now ABB, Inc.) for 40 years. After retiring she volunteered at a local nursing home and hospice.
Martha had a love of travel all her life. She and her husband Paul enjoyed many years of camping and cruising before he passed away. She continued to travel with tour groups going from Alaska to the Caribbean and from Hawaii to Europe,
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 49 years, Paul E. Neal. She is survived by her three loving daughters. Terry Fisher (Larry) of Brookhaven, MS, Becky Dionne (Ron) of Crystal Springs, MS and Lilli Mar Lee (Chuck) also of Crystal Springs, MS.
Grandchildren Rick Wright (Dwana), Brook Wright, Angie Fisher Warren (Beck), Ashley Fisher Vaughan (Gary), Courtney Dionne Bates (Jeffrey), Jordan Lee (Amanda) and Courtney Lee, Great-grandchildren Laura Beth Wright and Coker Wright, Madison, Fisher and Ann Brantley Warren, Tri and Suzi Paige Vaughan, Isabelle and Bennett Bates and Weston Lee.