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1929 Ethel 2020

Ethel McNeill

April 11, 1929 — November 4, 2020

Ethel Clement McNeill, 91, of Sanford passed away peacefully on November 4, 2020. Funeral services will be private.


Ethel was born on April 11, 1929 on Choctaw Farm near Oxford, NC, the youngest daughter of the late Jesse Irvin Clement and Maggie Whitehurst Clement. She was reared on a 100-acre farm exposing her to many chores. Her Father was wounded in the leg during World War I while serving in France. Ethel learned to care for the family mules, feed the swine, and milk the cows. Since there were no boys in the family, Ethel became her father’s “tom-boy” and helped with various jobs around the home and in the fields. Their main crop was tobacco plus various small grains such as wheat, corn, rye, and oats.


Ethel was educated in grades 1 through 12 in the Oxford City Schools. During her years in high school, she preformed in the Glee Club, Mixed Chorus, Operettas, and High School Band. Ethel loved music and played the piano.


Upon Graduation from the High School in 1947, she was accepted in the Music Department at East Carolina Teacher’s College. Many hours were spent practicing and performing in various functions such as Orchestra, Marching Band, Concert Band, Mixed Chorus, and Glee Club. Her spare time was spent as secretary to the Music Director.


In 1951, Ethel graduated from East Carolina College licensed to teach music. She accepted a teaching position at Greenwood School in Lemon Springs, NC. The first three years were spent teaching in grades 1 through 8, Senior High School Chorus, Junior High School Chorus and band.


Her greatest love was teaching music to students in primary grades. Ethel returned to college and received her certificate in Primary Education. She used her music education in her classroom. Her students learned many songs and put on various plays written by her. Her groups participated in operetta programs, May Day and Graduation. Her favorite was an original rendition of the Toy Shop, where the children acted out each song. Each child got to choose the toy they wanted to be and dressed in the appropriate costume. This program was given at night for everyone.


She was involved in many activities at Lemon Springs Baptist Church including; organist, pianist, and choir director. She also taught Sunday School, was a member of the Women's Society, and helped with the upkeep of the church cemetery. Ethel's life was filled with helping people.


Surviving are two sons, Steven L. McNeill (Kathy) and Scott C. McNeill (Karen); grandchildren Ashley McNeill Pressley (Jordan), Matthew John McNeill, Jenna McNeill Brown (Will), and Lara McNeill Wind (Lucas); great grandchildren Aubrey Pressley, Serenity Brown, Felicity Brown, Ariella Brown, Jathan Brown, Kaitlyn McNeill and Caleb Wind.


She was preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband John E. McNeill; sisters Marguerite Clement and Irene Boykin.


Memorials can be made to Lemon Springs United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 129, Lemon Springs, NC 28355.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ethel McNeill, please visit our flower store.

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Rogers Pickard Funeral Home

509 Carthage St, Sanford, NC 27330

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