Virginia Rose Neel Harry, 102, of Roanoke, VA, formerly of Tazewell, VA died Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at Emeritus at Roanoke, Roanoke, VA. Born November 21, 1910 at Cove Creek, VA, she was a daughter of the late Mary Belle Higginbotham Neel and William Edward Neel. She was the last surviving sibling of five sisters and one brother. She graduated from Beaver High School in Bluefield, WV at age 16 and was the first of her family to attend college. She attended The State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford, now known as Radford University. She earned her teaching certificate and began a long career in education, beginning her teaching career in a one-room school in Tip Top, VA. She opened the first private kindergarten in Tazewell, VA in the 1950's and she taught third grade at Tazewell Elementary School for many years. Continuing her education at Bluefield State College, in Bluefield, WV, she earned her BS degree in 1971 at the age of 60. Toward the end of her teaching career, she helped establish the first Tazewell County School for Exceptional Children and was a teacher there until her retirement. Upon retirement in 1975, her volunteer activities went full time. As a member of Tazewell’s Main Street United Methodist Church for over 80 years, she was a member of both the Matt B. Martin Circle and the Elizabeth Lacy Circle, a member of the United Methodist Women for over 40 years and was their Woman of the Year in 1988. She was a long-time member of the church choir and the kitchen and communion committees. She served on various boards of the church and taught Sunday School for the primary children for many years. Through the Tazewell Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), she volunteered her help with Main Street Moments, the United Way, the local Bloodmobile, the Tazewell County Fair, the local Literary Program. She volunteered her services at local political elections. She was a long-time member of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society. In retirement, she began traveling. She visited many places in the United States, Europe, Ireland, England, and the Caribbean but her favorite trip of all was to the Holy Land and Egypt. She lived independently in her home of 80 years until 2008 when she moved to Roanoke to be near her daughter and son.
She is survived by one daughter, Judie Lallmang and her husband, Dick, of Boones Mill, VA, and one son, Bob Harry and his wife, Ginni, of Roanoke, VA. Also surviving are three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at Main Street Methodist Church in Tazewell, VA with the Reverend Dr. Thomas A. Conley officiating. The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Main Street United Methodist Church, 313 East Main St., Tazewell, VA 24651.
Peery & St. Clair Funeral Home of Tazewell, VA is serving the family. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.peerystclairfuneralhome.com.