Macneal, Virginia C. Kelly

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Virginia C. Kelly MacNeal, 88, of Pulaski, died peacefully late Wednesday evening, July 23, 2008, at her residence surrounded by family and friends.

She was born December 20, 1919, in Comer, Ga., and was the daughter of the late Woody Williams Collier and Ralph S. Collier, and was the last survivor in a family of four girls. She was a graduate of the University of Georgia in 1940 with a degree in home economics. She was a teacher to her “gurls” for two years in College Park, Ga. She later became the first female station agent for Delta Airlines in Augusta, Ga., during her husband’s medical school years.

Upon her arrival to Pulaski, she became an active member of the First Baptist Church where she served as a member of the Joy Sunday School Class and served as the Sunday School Superintendent for two years in her 80’s. She was an active member of the Thursday Club, where she enjoyed the friendship of all its members. She helped start the local volunteer’s with Pulaski Hospital and volunteered with the Red Cross bloodmobile. She was head of the Pulaski Beautification Committee with her “pet-project called daffodil hill” at the hospital.

She served as past-president of the Southwest Virginia Women’s Medical Auxiliary.┬áVirginia was an extraordinary woman. Though she was not a Pulaski native, she inspired all Pulaskians to believe in themselves by sharing her belief in her adopted hometown. She was the kind of leader who preferred to work in the background, never seeking credit for herself. Yet she earned the thanks of Pulaski, which has been so greatly enriched by her vocation of public service.

Her elegant strength and persuasive skills resulted in the restoration and preservation of the gazebo and fountain in Jackson Park, and the expansion of the local library, as well as the restoration of the Pulaski Railway Station. She contributed as well to advances and improvements in local school curricula and the fine and performing arts, the Dublin Library, and the Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville. A busy lady, Virginia always saw the positive in Pulaski and its people. She was rewarded for her efforts by being named the Woman of the Year in 1983.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Dr. George Washington Kelly Jr. in 1988; her second husband, Dr. Perry S. MacNeal in 1997; a son, George W. Kelly III; and three sisters, Mildred Porterfield, Dorothy “Dot” Hardy and Sarah Lawson. She is survived by her son, Ralph D. Kelly, of Pulaski; a god daughter, Aimee Ondich Hall and her husband, Lynwood, of Salem; a special friend and “daughter,” Victoria Sewell, of Moorestown, N.J.; and many nephews.

The family would like to extend their appreciation to five very special caregivers, Jewel Hill, of Draper, Phyllis Jennings, of Pulaski, Betty Gene Cox, of Pulaski, and Susan and Mary Strong, of Dublin.

Funeral services will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, July 27, 2008, at Thomas M. Seagle & Sons with the the Rev. Hugh Kilgore officiating. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the “Thursday Club.” The family will receive friends at Thomas M. Seagle & Sons on Saturday, July 26, 2008, from 7 until 9 p.m. A graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, 2008, at the Carlton Cemetery in Carlton, Ga.

The family will also receive friends on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Hicks Funeral Home in Elberton, Ga.

Flowers will be appreciated, but for those who wish, memorial contributions may be made in her memory, to the Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley, P.O. Box 309, Pulaski, Va. 24301 or to any local Pulaski organization. Arrangements by Thomas M. Seagle and Sons, 415 N. Jefferson Avenue, Pulaski, Va., 540-980-1700.