Fern Neal

Fern Sheila (Williams) Neal

1944 - 2023

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Obituary of Fern Sheila (Williams) Neal

Fern S. Neal (Williams) of St. Paul, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on August 12, 2023. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 8, 1944 to Matthew and Maryann (Bodin) Williams. She attended elementary school in Brook Park, Minnesota and graduated high school from Cambridge School in 1962. Shortly after, Fern moved to St. Paul, where she met her future husband, Roger W. Neal, Sr. They were blessed with 2 children, Aaron Michael and Rebecca Ann. Her nephews Adam, Michael Matthew and Todd each had a special place in her heart. During the 1970s, Fern cared for Rev. Sligh and Kathy’s  son, TJ. She called him Tom-Tom and he forever stayed in Fern’s heart. When her children were young, for many years she volunteered as the treasurer and secretary for Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church. After her children completed high school, she worked at the Sisters of Saint Joseph as a trained medication aide. Along with her job, she loved cats (maybe as much as her children). Once she found a kitten so small, it had to be bottle fed. She took the kitten to work with her, where it was nursed back to health by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Along with caring for children and kittens, Fern had many hobbies. She taught herself how to crochet and enjoyed it greatly. Many friends and relatives have received afghans and doilies from her. Well before a lighted hat was even popular, she designed and made a crocheted LED hat for her son Aaron. Fern was also an avid reader, enjoyed genealogy, and traveling across the country to document her research. Once, she made a road trip with her sister to the southern tip of Illinois to locate a grave of an ancestor. That was only the beginning as Fern made several trips to various cemeteries across the country. Fern spent countless hours investigating census records, requesting numerous birth and death certificates, visiting court houses, museums, history centers of every kind, and visiting the graves of many. Showing respect for the people who have gone on, she would keep flowers in the glove box of her car to place at the graves she visited. When she was unable to get to a grave herself, she would enlist the help of her daughter to travel by plane or car to find the grave she was looking for. Fern enjoyed documenting the past and learning about history, long drives in the country with her mother, car rides with her daughter, completing crossword puzzles, coloring, sitting on her porch step, and in her later years sitting outside in her wheelchair. Fern loved caring for people, loving animals, and being a Mom. Later in life, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She was lovingly cared for by her family and lived many active years with her children. Through God’s grace, Fern’s life ended with her still recognizing her children.


She is preceded in death by her husband, Roger Neal, Sr., who passed away in 2001, her parents, and two brothers (James and David). She is survived by her children, Aaron and Rebecca, sisters Sandra Wehmanen (Arden) Ainsworth, Iowa and Shirley Noble, St. Cloud, Minnesota; brothers Clifford, Harris Minnesota and Paul, Stanchfield, Minnesota and many many relatives.


A celebration of life honoring Fern will take place at 11:00 am on Monday, September 11, 2023, at Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, St. Paul, Minnesota 55103. Her committal is at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, 7601 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55450 on Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 12:45 pm.          


Celebration of Life

11:00 am

Monday, September 11, 2023

Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church

585 Fuller Avenue

St. Paul, Minnesota, United States


Committal of Ashes

12:45 pm

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Fort Snelling National Cemetery

7601 34th Avenue South

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55450

A Memorial Tree was planted for Fern
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota