Neal, James Robert

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neal_james_robertOn Tuesday, December 1, 2009, James Robert (Jim) Neal, 76, of Christiansburg, Va., was at home and peacefully passed away to be with the Lord.

Jim was born in Giles County but lived most of his life in Christiansburg. He was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. Jim was head usher at Main Street Baptist for many years where he was well loved by all. At the time of Jim’s death he was a member of the Christiansburg Church of the Brethren.

Jim was employed by General Electric for 34 years and retired early at age 55. He was an avid Virginia Tech fan. Jim loved the outdoors, gardening and maintained a meticulous yard even in his declining years.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James William Neal and Dorothy Virginia Musselman Neal; sister, Linda Neal Lane; half sisters, Joyce Ragsdale and Cleo Brown; son, Kenneth Cameron Altizer and daughter-in-law, Betty Hill Altizer; and son-in-law, James Bordon Cobb. He is survived by his constant and loving wife of 43 years, Avanelle Shelor Neal; his daughters, Dean Joyner Cobb, Dreama Neal Dean, Beverly Neal Rose, Katie Neal Brightwell, and Debra Neal Maybry; sister, Carol Neal Trigg; brother, Billy J. Neal; and many grandchildren. Jim is also survived by Jacques, his little poodle which was his constant shadow.

A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2009, at Christiansburg Church of the Brethren, 310 S. Franklin St., by Jim’s pastor, Donald B. Peters.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Jim’s name be made to the Christiansburg Rescue Squad or the American Heart Association.

The Neal family is being served by Horne Funeral and Cremation Service. Online condolences may be sent to