Cover photo for Betty Neal's Obituary
Betty Neal Profile Photo
1933 Betty 2018

Betty Neal

January 5, 1933 — June 26, 2018

Born in Gallatin, TN on January 5, 1933 Departed on June 26, 2018 and resided in Gallatin, TN Visitation: Alexander Funeral Home and Cremation CenterFriday June 29, 2018 4:00pm to 8:00pmVisitation: First United Methodist Church - GallatinSaturday June 30, 2018 10:00am to 11:00amFuneral Service: First United Methodist Church-Gallatin 11:am
Mrs. Betty Ruth Coley Neal

Born in Gallatin, TN on January 5, 1933

Departed on June 26, 2018 and resided in Gallatin, TN

Visitation: Alexander Funeral Home and Cremation Center Friday June 29, 2018 4:00pm to 8:00pmVisitation: First United Methodist Church - Gallatin Saturday June 30, 2018 10:00am to 11:00amFuneral Service: First United Methodist Church-Gallatin 11:am

Betty Ruth Coley Neal born January 5, 1933 to Herschel Coley and Dora Marshall Coley in the Number One Community, Sumner County, Tennessee. Betty graduated from Gallatin High School where she was elected both Homecoming Queen and Lady of the Green and Gold. She obtained a degree in english and library science from Longwood College. Betty attended the Gallatin First United Methodist Church where she married Thomas Henry Neal, Jr., and worshiped until her death at the age of 85 on June 26, 2018. She served her church in the past as a secretary for the administrative board and enjoyed attending the Wallace Sunday School Class and the Women's Circle. A lifelong learner and voracious reader, Betty instilled a love of the written word in her children and in her students as an English teacher and a high school librarian. As a mother and grandmother, she served many years as a Girl Scout Troop leader, Sunday School teacher, and school room mother organizing and surviving numerous Girl Scout campouts, school trips, vacation bible schools, bake sales, and childrens' sporting events. Believing that each of us is responsible for ourselves and for helping "the least of these," she volunteered for many organizations, including her church, the Girl Scouts, Gallatin CARES, Educate a Woman, and Meals-on-Wheels. Her passion for historical preservation led her to volunteer with Carnton Mansion, Cragfont and the Bledose Lick Historical Society. She loved to search for treasures in any antique store. Betty was active politically throughout her life serving as a Williamson County Commissioner, as Secretary and Treasurer of the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women, and on the Board of the National Republican Women She was proud of her family, despite having raised at least two Democrats. Betty was a fierce competitor at bridge, on the golf course, and at everything she undertook, believing that if it was worth doing, then it was worth doing well. Ever tenacious, independent and strong-willed, she brooked no excuses, accepted no whining, and insisted on courtesy. In spite of the ravages of Alzheimers, she was gracious, polite, and concerned about others to the end of her well-lived life.

Survived by Tom, her husband of 64 years, daughters Lisa Ann Neal, Tracey Neal Jones (Hugh), and Karen Scott Neal (John Berggren), grandchildren Coley Jones Drinkwater, Jessica Erin Jones, Thomas Ray Stuart Jones, Marshall Adam McCune, Raleigh Scott Berggren, and John Jacob Berggren, great-grandchildren, Hazel Grace Jones, Leland Hugh Jones, and Hayden Gray Drinkwater, brother William Herschel "Bud" Coley (Mary Lynn), brother-in-law Paul Wallace Neal, sister-in-law, Mary Belle Neal Ginnani, nieces and nephews Guy Neal, Scotty Neal (Leslie), Katy Ginnani, Claudia Ginnani, Kelly Coley, Chad Coley, David Coley, Sissy Ferguson, Bubba Chambers, Pam Chambers, and Betty and Tom's companion, "Big Cat" who kept her company and slept on her feet for the past few years. Predeceased by her parents and her sisters Nancy Coley Chambers and Dora Ann Coley Brandow. A special thanks to Shelby Turner Charlene Lloyd, Kay Stovall, and Shenita Sawyers for their special care.

In lieu of flowers, it's suggested that memorials may be made to the Betty and Tom Neal Scholarship Fund at the Volunteer State College Foundation, 1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066 which assists with tuition for a graduate of Gallatin High School, or to the Gallatin First United Methodist Church Youth Fund, 149 West Main Street, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066.

Visitation will be at Alexander's Funeral Home, 584 Nashville Pike, Gallatin, Tennessee on Friday, June 29th from four o'clock until eight o'clock and on Saturday, June 30th at ten o'clock in the Sanctuary at the Gallatin First United Methodist Church, 149 West Main Street, Gallatin, Tennessee followed by a funeral service at eleven o'clock. Internment will be at the Crestview Cemetery in Gallatin.

Online condolences may be submitted at Alexander Funeral Home & Cremation Center located at 584 Nashville Pike in Gallatin is in charge of arrangements. (615) 502-0011 Obit Line (615) 502-0555

19 Comments Vivian June 26, 2018 at 11:48 pm - Reply

We are praying fur you all in this time of loss. She was an amazing woman!

Thomas Reedy June 27, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

You folks are two of the finest people that we met on our many travels. What a blessing you have been to me. Betty was the kind of person we all would like
to be. Tom, we have shared so many emails over the years and I must say that I feel much sorrow for your loss. You both are fine Christian folks and
Betty’s obituary was a accurate tribute to you both. I am honored to be your friend. The Lord is your shepherd and He will provide the peace that you deserve.
You were a wonderful husband as Betty was a wonderful wife. Amen

My favorite saying that has carried me through some tough times is: All you can do, is all you can do and that’s enough.

Tom Reedy

Lynn June 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm - Reply

Thoughts and prayers for Tom and the family during this time.

Kay stowell June 27, 2018 at 7:06 pm - Reply

She was the kindest lady,,she loved her family so very much ,,she was a gentle soul,with love and concerns for others..i will miss her so very much for i truly enjoyed every minute that i spent with her..she will be forever in my heart.

Bobbie Atristain June 27, 2018 at 10:39 pm - Reply

I’m so sorry for you loss. Many prayers for you and your family.

Love in Christ,
Bobbie and Rick Atristain
Blackstone, VA

Dottie & Joe Borgerding & Family June 27, 2018 at 11:49 pm - Reply

Tracey and family,
We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all of your family.

Fr Eduard Ntunde June 28, 2018 at 12:20 am - Reply

Trace and family,
I am sorry for your loss.
Our life is a journey, she has gone before us and we are on the same journey.
Keep praying for her and family.

Judy Truex Reed June 28, 2018 at 1:22 am - Reply

Chad and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family. It would have been a blessing to have known Betty.

GOD Bless
Judy Truex Reed

Steve and Teresa graves June 28, 2018 at 1:46 am - Reply

We are so sorry for your loss. Prayers of peace and precious memories are being prayed over you all.

Mollie Sellers June 28, 2018 at 2:15 am - Reply

Thinking of all of you during this time. I have fond memories of your family’s years in Blackstone. She was welcoming, friendly, and forthright. Will be lifting you up from afar.

Lesley Tayes June 28, 2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

So sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful woman and every time I saw her, she was so kind and gracious. She was a long time friend of my mother (Norma Jean Crook Hawkins) and my dad (Charles Hawkins) and will be missed.

Carlton Procise June 28, 2018 at 5:51 pm - Reply

Carlton Procise June 28, 2018

Thinking of you, Tom, at this time for your loss. Prayers for your and your family.

Laura Wilkins June 28, 2018 at 10:53 pm - Reply

Lisa, I am so, so sorry. I see where you get your kindness, as well as your love of reading. I remember our years at The Tennessean fondly. You were always nice to me and especially when Robbie passed. You and your dad and family will ne in my prayers. Laura

Juli Morando June 29, 2018 at 12:03 am - Reply

Lisa, I'm so sorry for your loss! God bless you and your family during this difficult time! Love, Juli

Rhonda Jones Martocci June 29, 2018 at 12:09 am - Reply

Dixie Jones says she was a Very Special Lady! Many prayers for your family.

Shelita Powell June 29, 2018 at 8:22 am - Reply

My condolences to you and your family. We all look forward to the time when death will be done away with. Revelations 21:4 in part says, " He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more."

Jennifer Lemmon June 29, 2018 at 12:41 pm - Reply

Tom, so sorry to hear of the passing of your wife. She sounds like she was an amazing woman. I pray that the memories of your years together will bring you some comfort. Take care.

Richard B. Penuel June 29, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

Tom, the passing of Betty Ruth means that your family and you are in the prayers of many, including me. May the wonderful memories of the times the two of you created together with your family sustain you this difficult passage!

Peggy Ellsworth vardeman June 30, 2018 at 5:14 pm - Reply

I will always remember how Tom Henry and Betty Ruth became sweethearts in about the 8th grade and their love never wavered through all the years they were together. Betty was one of my friends all through school and I will never forget her kindness and loving disposition. I am so glad that we came to Gallatin last month on May 10th, we went to Tom Henry and Betty Ruths home and I will always remember how beautiful she looked sitting in a chair in her living room. As we left I was able to give her a goodbye hug which I treasure in my heart❤️ I know she has a special place in heaven.

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