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Originally published: 2014-01-02 11:22:48
Last modified: 2014-01-02 11:23:33

Charles William Neal

Charles William "Bill" Neal, 59, of Hickory, died Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in his home surrounded by his family.

He was born in Marion, to John McDonald Neal and Myrtle Pritchard Neal. He attended UNC-Asheville, graduating with a degree in political science and philosophy. During his more than 30-year career with the N.C. Dept of Community Corrections, Bill served as a chief probation officer and judicial district manager. In 2013, he was awarded the Order of the Longleaf Pine by the governor for his exceptional service to the state. After retirement, Bill volunteered as a Guardian ad Litem, supporting youth in Davie County.

He enjoyed playing golf with his friends, cheering for the Tar Heels, and playing with his grandchildren. He loved the mountains of North Carolina and, most of all, his family. His girls were always first in his heart.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Lisa Holder Neal, of Hickory; brother, John Neal and family, of Maryland; his three daughters, Jennifer Conaty and husband, Joe, Sarah Beckworth and husband, Josh, and Mackenzie Ratledge and husband, Clay. He found great joy in his six grandchildren, Evie, Maddie, Emmie, Sam, Lainey, and Charlie.

A memorial celebration of Bill's life will be held between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at Grassy Creek Golf and Country Club in Spruce Pine.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial donations be made to Catawba Regional Hospice, 3975 Robinson Rd, Newton, NC 28658.

Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of Charles William "Bill" Neal and online condolences may be left at