BROOKVALE—Fillmore Arthur McNeal, 89, of Brookvale passed away on July 9, 2021, at his home after a massive stroke five days earlier.
He was born at McNeal’s Corner, Lancaster on October 15, 1931, the son of the late Pete McNeal and Orpha Forrester Gill McNeal. He was married to Elizabeth Ann Dawson from July 27, 1958, until her death June 20, 1997.
During World War II and at an early age, Fillmore worked the family tomato farm while his older brothers served in the Navy. He worked summers on fish boats, both local and out of Port Arthur, Texas, during high school. Fillmore graduated from Lively High School in 1951. Between 1951 and 1955, Fillmore served with the U.S. Air Force at Eagan Air Force Base, Florida, and Goose Bay Air Base, Labrador, after basic training.
After graduating from Nashville Diesel School in 1957, he worked for Crowther Ford Sales in Kilmarnock until he established McNeal’s Auto Parts. In 1966, he became owner and operator of Jack’s Gulf Station on Irvington Road, Kilmarnock, until 1976 when he built and opened F. A. McNeal, Inc., an auto and truck repair shop just north of Kilmarnock. Fillmore sold that property in 1999 and at nearly 70 years old, he built Brookvale Mini-Storage, now in his daughter Dona’s hands.
In 2018, Fillmore was honored for 50 years of perfect attendance with the Lions Club International. As you may already know, he was very active during those 50 years; Fillmore served a term as president and was honored with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s exceptional community commitment and dedication to humanitarian service.
Fillmore served on the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church. He enjoyed restoring classic Rancheros and a couple of 1931 Plymouths, his first automobile. Fillmore had a large vegetable garden and was generous with its produce.
In addition to his wife, Fillmore is preceded in death by his step-mother, Florence Gough McNeal; his brother, Pernell Gilliam McNeal; and two half-brothers, Wayland Riley Gill and Herman Sandby Gill.
Fillmore was survived by daughters, Deborah and her husband, Jon Lundberg of Rocky Mount, N.C., and Dona McNeal and her husband, Jerry Weber of Lancaster; four grandchildren, Lori Anderson, Eric Lundberg, Gregory Price Jr. and Elizabeth Price; and six great-grandchildren, Nathan and Alice Anderson, James and Isabella Lundberg, Ayden Scott and Dale PriceSmith; one sister, Sylvia McNeal Davis; one sister-in-law, Lois Dawson; longtime girlfriend, Maude Rock; and a host of nephews, nieces and friends.
Remains rest at Currie Funeral Home, Kilmarnock, where the family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, and where the funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 18. Interment next to his wife, Elizabeth, will follow in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Kilmarnock. Then a celebration of a life well-lived at the Upper Lancaster Fire Department, Lively.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lancaster County Lions Club, PO Box 368, Kilmarnock, VA 22482.