Alvin Clarence Neal, widower of Miriam DuCom Neal, passed away on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, at the home of his daughter.
He was born on Feb. 14, 1918, in Mishawaka, Indiana, a son of the late William Henry and Emma White Neal. He was a graduate of Etna Green High School, Etna Green, Indiana. Mr. Neal served during World War II, enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1940. He had the distinction of being the first enlisted man to be assigned to Shaw Air Force Base before construction was completed.
Because of his efficiency in establishing the personnel records office, he was asked to open an Air Force base in Bainbridge, Georgia. While in Sumter, he met Miriam DuCom, and they were married upon his return to Shaw. He completed Officer Candidate School in Miami and received a commission of first lieutenant. After the war, Mr. Neal served in the Air Force Reserve and retired having earned the rank of major.
He was an accountant for Southern Coatings Co. for several years before working as the office manager for Courtright Chevrolet for 12 years. The opportunity to join Korn Industries came next for Mr. Neal. Always interested in new innovations, he set up the first computer system for Korn Industries. After 25 years, he retired as a vice president / secretary-treasurer.
Mr. Neal was a faithful member of First Baptist Church since joining in March 1948. He served as a deacon, youth Sunday school director and on various administrative committees. He also served as the church treasurer for 19 years.
Mr. Neal enjoyed photography with his favorite subjects being his children and grandchildren. He was greatly loved by his family and friends. His generosity and helpfulness were greatly appreciated by many. He was a true gentleman.
He was predeceased by his wife and his siblings, Mildred Dyzell, Genevieve DeBow, Richard A. Neal, William H. Neal Jr. and Marjorie Rhodes.
Survivors include his daughter, Kay Neal Fort of Sumter; his son, Alvin Joseph Neal of Columbia; six grandchildren, Morgan Elizabeth Neal, Jacob Yancy Neal (Kelley), Mary Jordan Neal Lempesis (Christopher), Sally Fort Ardis (Ralph), Katie Fort Smith (Roger) and Melvin David Fort Jr.; eight great-grandchildren; and one sister, Mary N. Morin of Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Visitation will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. today at Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home.
Graveside services will be held at 3 p.m. at Sumter Cemetery, conducted by the Rev. Dr. Bob Calvert.
The family will receive friends at other times at the home of his daughter, Kay Fort.
The family would like to express much gratitude to Mr. Neal's special caregivers, Laura Ellison, Saundra Roach, Barbara Washington, Marilyn Davis, Chanita Nelson and Mary McKnight, along with the staff of Caris Hospice.
Memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church, 107 E. Liberty St., Sumter, SC 29150 or United Ministries, 36 S. Artillery Drive, Sumter, SC 29150.
Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home and Crematorium of Sumter is in charge of the arrangements.