Frances “Frankie” Elizabeth Roberson Neal, precious mother, grandmother, and beloved wife of the late Oliver Francis Neal, Jr., passed away peacefully on November 1, 2022, at her home surrounded by her loving family two days after her ninety-seventh birthday.
Born October 30, 1925, in Greenville, she was a daughter of the late John Thomas and Mattie Kohn Roberson. Mrs. Neal attended Greenville County Schools, graduating from Greenville High School in 1942. Shortly after graduation, she married her sweetheart Francis in Warrensburg, Missouri, where he was stationed in the army Air Force Troop Carrier Command. When her husband shipped out to World War II, Mrs. Neal returned home to Greenville where she began working at Southern Bell as a telephone/switchboard operator, a position that she loved because it allowed her to connect with people all across the country. After the birth of a daughter, Mrs. Neal became a housewife and spent happy days caring for her only child and creating a loving, comfortable home for her family.
A woman of faith, Mrs. Neal was raised in Second Baptist Church and later became a longtime member of East Park Baptist Church, serving as a Sunday school teacher and forming many cherished friendships that lasted throughout her life. It was here that Frankie developed her love for music and singing. As a member of the choir, she enjoyed praising her Lord, soon becoming part of a trio and a frequent soloist. Her joy of singing led her to join the Greater Greenville Christian Chorale and later Proclaim, a group of ladies who shared the gospel through song. With Proclaim, she performed in churches locally and nationwide . Even when she became bedridden, Frankie would sing, never forgetting the words of hymns that were dear to her heart.
Mrs. Neal is survived by her daughter, Karen Neal Owens; her grandchildren, who were the lights of her life, Thomas Neal Owens (Hannah) and Amanda Owens Duffie (Jeff); her delightful great-granddaughter, Sutton Elizabeth Owens; and several special nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband of seventy-four years, she was preceded in death by her sisters Virginia R. Bryant, Dorothy R. Butcher, and Edith R. Grogan.
The family would like to thank Lutheran Hospice, South Carolina House Calls nurse practitioner Daphne Areephanthu, and especially her caregivers Carolyn Bell and Della Latimore who provided tender care in Frankie’s last days.
Those who knew Frankie will remember her compassion, encouragement, and sweet generous spirit. She leaves a long legacy of faith, love, and service to those around her. Above all, however, was her commitment to family throughout her entire life. As a wife, mother, grandmother, and sister, her unconditional love never faltered.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Meals on Wheels, 15 Oregon Street, Greenville, SC 29605 or by visiting https://mealsonwheelsgreenville.org/
A visitation will be held Friday, November 04, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. until 12:45 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes, Southeast followed by the funeral service at 1:00 p.m. in the Chapel. Entombment will be in the Graceland East Memorial Park Mausoleum.
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