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Helen Margaret Neal


1926 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Helen Margaret Neal Obituary

Helen Margaret Neal
1926 - 2018

Services: Saturday, July 21st, 2018 10:00 a.m. Funeral services will be held at Church of Christ, 1030 Oxford Street, Delano CA, Saturday, July 21, 2018, begins at 10:00 a.m. Patrick Gallagher will officiate the service. Pallbearers will be Hunt Turner, Willie Yglesias, Ogden Kiesel, Ed Hayes, Chase Jamieson, Stephen Eyherabide, John Gregory and Eric Rufert.

Helen was born to J. Delmer and Elsie Brazeal on February 8, 1926, and was raised on a beautiful country farm home place in Stigler, Oklahoma. She passed away on Monday, July 9, 2018.

Helen was married to her loving husband, Kenneth Loren Neal, for 61 years until his passing in 2003. Helen and Ken both attended Perry Country School, where Helen says she picked Ken out when she was in the third grade. Ken and Helen were sweethearts throughout their lives together. Mr. Emmory Barnes married them on Valentines Day in 1942. Austin and Iris Barnes were Best Man and Maid of Honor. That night they went to the movies to see Gone with the Wind. They traveled to Fort Bragg, CA, where they honeymooned. They moved to Delano, CA in March of that year. Helen was a devoted wife to her husband, mother to two daughters and a son, four granddaughters, six great granddaughters, and a great grandson.

Helen was married at 16 years old, a young wife in love with a beautiful, handsome, hard working, Christian man of just 18 years old. Two soul mates with limited education, their bibles, and very humble beginnings set out to make a home and have a family. Ken often said, "we only had the change in our pockets, and what we made, we made together". There was work in California so they began their married life in Delano. Soon after settling, both their families including all of their many brothers and sisters came to live near them. In 1962, Ken and Helen and other close friends and family, built a beloved new Church of Christ upon the foundation of the old church, the women did the cooking and the men did the building and the congregation grew. Their whole lives evolved around this special church.

Helen was a housewife and in her earliest years of marriage she seasonally picked grapes, oranges, and cotton. She became an amazing cook, who loved to garden, prune roses, can produce, raise chickens, and jar honey from their own bees. Her pies and persimmon cookies were heavenly. Both her and Ken had a love for birds, to sit a spell and watch the frequent visitors to their birdbaths and feeders brought them joy. A huge part of her life and happiness revolved around their large fun families, church, and neighbors gathering together to laugh, cook, camp, sing and tell stories. She was a beautiful woman with a feisty yet most loving kind spirit. She loved to laugh, and seeing her get tickled to tears was a joy.

After the passing of her sweet loving husband, and two of her three children she kept her faith in Christ, studied her bible daily, attended church every Sunday, and evolved into a beautiful angel of Christ-like qualities that touched the lives of so many who loved and knew her throughout her 92 years.

Helen was the oldest of four children. She was preceded in death by her parents and three siblings Dewey and Leon Brazeal, and Mary Lee Rufert; her husband Kenneth Neal, daughter Carolyn Hamilton and husband Mac Hamilton, and son Dale Neal.

She is survived by her daughter Janice and husband Danny Moore; four granddaughters Debbie (Hamilton) and husband Hunt Turner, Kristi (Moore) McCreedy, Kimberly (Hamilton) and husband Willie Yglesias, Daina (Moore) and husband Ogden Kiesel; six great-granddaughters Summer (Jamieson) Eyherabide, Carolyn Yglesias, Audrey Turner, Juliana Yglesias, Cameron Turner, Ella Kiesel and great-grandson Chase Jamieson. Sisters-in-law Betty Brazeal and Lou Ellen Gregory Rubash. Helen will be missed by many nieces and nephews.

Our family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of San Joaquin Hospital and Hoffman Home, and special thanks to the four sweet women from Threshold Choir who sang Helen's favorite gospel songs on her last day with us. Thank you Dr. Radhey Bansel for many years of primary care.

Special thanks to Eric and Maggie Rufert, a loving nephew and his wife, who extended helping hands whenever she was in need, and to her generous, kind, and thoughtful neighbors, especially Jim and Olivia Tamsi who loved and cared for her like family for so many years.

Thank you to Juanita Gallagher, Lorene Stinnett, and the congregation of the Church of Christ for all the blessed joy you brought to her loving Christian heart. To all the friends, family and neighbors who stopped by often and sent cards, letters and prayers, please know she loved you all.

In lieu of flowers, it is our family's wish for donations to be made to her humble, Church of Christ that she so loved and is in need of funding and repairs. Please send donations to: Church of Christ, P.O. Box 1001, Delano, CA 93215.

Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 13, 2018
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