Bonnie Fae (Harble) Neal, 89, of New Straitsville, passed away on Thursday, October 1st at the Genesis Hospital in Zanesville after a losing a long battle against Covid-19. Born January 27, 1931, in Logan, Ohio, she was the daughter of Jackson and Florence (Harper) Harble.
At the time of his death in 2008, Bonnie had been married to Walter “Nin” Neal for 60 years. They raised 6 children together, and in their later years were rarely seen apart. They could be seen taking daily drives and sitting on the porch waving at folks who drove by, hoping for a visitor. She loved seeing the little ones in the family, rocking them, playing with them, and watching them grow. No conversation with her was complete without her asking how that little one was doing. She drew her strength from time spent with her family.
In addition to raising her family, Bonnie worked for Essex Wire in Lancaster for 17 years. Over the years, she was a member of the Eastern Star Women’s Auxiliary in New Straitsville, as well as a 3-term New Straitsville Council Member and longtime election poll worker. Though she never drank, she bartended for over 25 years in New Straitsville, primarily at Matthew’s Café. She loved being around people, and always found someone to talk to. She had a kind heart, soft voice, and a sweet disposition, and never looked down on anyone. She could also rise above her 5’2” frame and handle herself and whatever situation came up, including breaking up bar fights if necessary. She was strong and respected by all who knew her well.
Bonnie loved to crochet, and her pineapple designs were always on display. She worked hours at a time, and often gifted these lovely pieces to not only family, but to friends and people whose kindness she wanted to show appreciation for. She loved Youth Dew perfume, watching game shows, and eating peanut butter cookies. It was well established in the family that their matriarch had a sweet tooth, and she would receive the first (corner) piece of any birthday cake, as it had the most frosting.
Bonnie is survived by her children, Ellen (Lee) Forester, Tim (Marion) Neal, Bill Jack (April) Neal, and Nichole Neal of New Straitsville, Eliza (Greg) Harper of Logan, and Fred Neal of Findlay; grandchildren Laura Warren, Amy Morrison, Timmy Neal, Jill Forester, Billy Neal, Kate Bookman, Adam Bookman, and Kyle Neal; great-grandchildren are Conor, Claire, Ryan, Thosia, Emily, Tanner, Terra, Billy, Megan, Marissa, and Colton; and great-great grandchildren Grayson, Zayden, Phoenix, Beckett, and Cambree. She is dearly missed by her entire extended family, and her dear friend Pam Boyle.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her siblings Clarence “Boob” Harble, Vivian “Wigg” Ruffner, and Violet Lehman.
Arrangements have been made by J.E. Humphrey Funeral Home: friends may call from 1 – 3 pm on Sunday, October 4, at the New Straitsville Methodist Church, with Covid-recovered family members in attendance to receive visitors. Graveside funeral services will be held at 4 pm at the New Straitsville Public Cemetery to allow social distancing. It is requested that in respect to her Covid-related death, all visitors please wear a mask. The family has witnessed the effects of this disease and would not want anyone else to suffer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Morrison House hospice in Zanesville, Ohio. They, along with the Genesis nursing staff, took wonderful care of Bonnie.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bonnie Fae (Harble) Neal, please visit our floral store.
Genesis Hospice Morrison House
713 Forest Avenue, Zanesville OH 43701