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Obituary: Thelma I. Neal, Columbus

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Thelma I. Neal, 82 years, 7 months and 16 days, of Columbus, IN, entered into heaven on Thursday, September 27, 2012, at 11:19 a.m. at Columbus Regional Hospital, with her family at her side.

Mrs. Neal was a member of the Elizabethtown Christian Church. She was a homemaker and had many hobbies and interests in life.

She enjoyed sewing, joking around, word-search puzzles and watching ice skating, gymnastics and "The Young and the Restless." She loved to spend time with her family and reminiscing over past family gatherings.

Mrs. Neal was born on February 11, 1930, in Heyworth, IL, the daughter of the late Virgil Dewey Mears and Gladys Elenora Deerwester.

On November 3, 1948, she married Dennis R. Neal. He preceded her in death on July 29, 2000.

Mrs. Neal is survived by her two daughters, Linda (Ed) Staples of Scipio, IN, and Diane (Eddie) Burris of Columbus, IN; five grandchildren, Matt and Mike Staples, both of North Vernon, IN, Tara Rae (Chad) Carter of Lexington, KY, Amanda Christine (John) Roark and Brody Neal Burris, both of Columbus, IN; eight great-grandchildren, Ashley and Lane Staples, both of North Vernon, IN, Brayton Chastain of Columbus, IN, Jena Marie Carter of Lexington, KY, Emily and Mason Roark, Abagail Land and Megan Roark, all of Columbus, IN; a great-great-granddaughter, Zoey Elizabeth Perkins of North Vernon, IN; five sisters, Billie Rose Walden of Bloomington, IL, Deloris Brunson and Marylin (Clet) Hardesty, both of Leroy, IL, Doris Stills of Las Vegas, NV, and Charlotte Waldo of Texas; a brother, Jimmie Schwartzer of Bloomington, IL; and many nieces and nephews.

Along with her parents and her husband of 51 years, she was preceded in death by a sister, Lorene Atkinson, and four brothers, Robert, Lloyd and Virgil Mears Jr. and Richard Schwartzer.

The funeral service celebrating the life of Mrs. Neal will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 1, 2012, at Myers-Reed Chapel at 3729 25th St., Columbus, IN 47203, with Rev. Doran F. Chambers officiating.

Calling hours will be from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday and from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday.

Burial will be at Garland Brook Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made through the funeral home to Elizabethtown Christian Church.

Online condolences may be sent to Mrs. Neal's family at, where you may view an everlasting memorial tribute.


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