GAFFNEY, S.C. - Edwina Davis Neal, the widow of William Franklin Neal Sr., died Monday, Jan. 20, from the effects of thyroid cancer. She was being cared for in the Peachtree Centre, Gaffney, S.C.
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Mrs. Neal was widowed at a young age, and left with four children. She grew up in Grover, where she graduated from high school. She also attended nursing school.
Mrs. Neal and her husband purchased a farm outside of Grover and Blacksburg, S.C., where they built their dream house. Her husband was an executive with Minette Mills before his death. Later in life, she sold the farm and moved to Gaffney, S.C., where she built a home near her daughter, Susan.
An accomplished photographer, Mrs. Neal worked for the Gaffney Ledger and the Blacksburg Times. While with the Ledger, she received second place in the J.L. Sims Award for best news photo from the S.C. Press Association.
She was a member of the Business and Professional Women's Club, and the Cherokee County Democratic Committee. In 1999, she was invited to a White House reception where she met President and Mrs. Clinton.
Mrs. Neal was a talented craftsman and seamstress. She made baskets by hand, adapting techniques used in the low country of South Carolina, even making her own dye from walnuts. She was a prolific and fast reader, enjoying newspapers and novels, and treasured the visits to her home from the Gaffney bookmobile.
Frequent beach trips with her family were a special delight for Mrs. Neal. Her last trip to Litchfield Beach was in 2012, when she spent time sitting on the beach with her family and eating seafood at her favorite local restaurants.
Mrs. Neal is survived by three children, Jean Marie Neal of Washington D.C., Thomas Edward Neal of Blacksburg, and Susan Neal Moore of Gaffney; daughter-in-law Mary Ann; and sons-in-law Greg Farmer and Larry Moore. She has seven grandchildren, Will, Ellen and Lane Moore of Gaffney, Haley Neal England of Shelby, and Matthew, Elliott and Madeline Neal of Chapel Hill; and six great-grandchildren, Madeline, Delaney, Caroline and Elizabeth England of Patterson Springs and Hank and Anne Neal of Chapel Hill. Her son, William Franklin Neal Jr. of Chapel Hill, died in 1991.
Memorial service: 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Camp-Swofford Chapel at Limestone College
Officiated by: The Rev. Ron Singleton.
Funeral home: Shuford Hatcher Funeral Home, Downtown Chapel, is handling the arrangements.
Memorials: The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Senior Centers of Cherokee County, West Rutledge Avenue, or to the Peachtree Centre, 1434 North Limestone Street, both in Gaffney.
Online condolences: www.shufordhatcherfuneralhome.com
Shuford-Hatcher Funeral Home - Gaffney
211 E. Frederick St. Gaffney, SC 29340
Published in Shelby Star on Jan. 24, 2014