Funeral services will be held Saturday July 13, 2015 at 12 noon at St. John Baptist Church in Hopkins, SC. Viewing will be at J.P. Holley Funeral Home on Garners Ferry Road in Columbia from 6pm until 8pm on Friday June 12. She will lie instate at the Church on Saturday from 11:00 am until the hour of the service.
LaVerne Macolia Kohn Neal, 92 of Hopkins, SC, transitioned from this life on earth to her heavenly home June 3, 2015.
She was born in Ailey, Ga. to Reverend Charlie and Lelia Kohn. Her most cherished memories and lifelong relationships were established in the historic Waverly Community of Columbia, SC., where the family moved after her birth. She is survived by her sisters Irma Kohn Bellinger of Columbia and the Reverend Janis Kohn English (Reverend Joseph) of Gaston, and was preceded in death by her brother, Lenzo Kohn (Vasteen, deceased).
LaVerne grew up in a Christian home and committed her life to Christ at an early age. She became a devoted and active member of First Nazareth Baptist Church where she immersed herself in the Christian community worshiping “Him in spirit and in truth.” She later married her true love and life partner, Reverend Choatte Rufus Neal, Sr. of Hopkins, SC. After moving to Hopkins to start her new life, Mrs. Neal joined St. John Baptist Church. She later served as First Lady of Calvary Baptist Church, Chester, SC, where her husband pastored for 20 years, and until his death. During their life together, it was rare to see one without the other. They created a warm home where God was placed first, education was valued, service to the community was important, and entrepreneurship was encouraged. Together, she and her husband raised four children: Dr. Green B. Neal, II and Reverend Joseph H. Neal of Hopkins, and Wilma (Brent) Neal Garren of South Orange, NJ. A son, Choatte (Loretta) Rufus Neal, Jr. preceded her in death. John 3:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
Mrs. Neal attended the public schools of Richland School District One and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. She continued her education at Allen University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, followed by a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from New York University. For 35 years, she educated young people in Richland School District One schools including Gadsden, Fairwold and Hopkins Elementary, where “she never met a child she could not teach to read.”
Mrs. Neal held a variety of positions on boards and commissions that exemplified her commitment to service. She was a member of the South Carolina Foster Care Review Board, the National Board of the Girl Scouts of America, the National Education Association, the South Carolina Education Association, and the Richland County Education Association. A life member of the NAACP, she actively supported the Lower Richland Branch with her leadership and dedication. She was always at the forefront of positive change.
Left to honor “Muh’s” (as she was affectionately known) life and legacy are two sons and one daughter, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law, seven grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, two sisters, six nieces, nine nephews, many cousins, and those special persons who became her own.
The family offers as comfort, for all who loved her, Mrs. Neal’s favorite phrase: “we didn’t come to stay!”
Family will receive friends at the home.
Funeral services are entrusted to Christopher King's Funeral Home 703 Old York Road Chester SC.
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