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Helen Josephine Vining Neal
Birth: Apr. 11, 1913
Muncie
Delaware County
Indiana, USA
Death: Aug. 24, 1994
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Born in 1913, Helen was the youngest child of Sarah Brown and John Vining's 8 children, and was the highest educated having completed 10th grade. After her mother died, Helen went to live with the Skinners where she worked as their maid.

In 1932, at the age of 19 Helen married Theodore Roosevelt Neal in Grant Co. Unable to have children of their own, the couple fostered a daughter named Mary Ann Fields and loved her for 7 years before one tragic day in January 1943 when Mary Ann died from burns. Her clothes caught fire when lighting the kitchen stove. Helen and Ted buried their daughter in Winchester and soon after relocated to the Los Angeles basin where they acquired another little girl to love, Arlene Waynett Ross. They also fostered a girl named Francis Dottson for a short time.

In 1956, the family's lives took another turn when Ted died unexpectedly. To make ends meet, Helen went to work at Woolworth's,took in ironing, and eventually went back to
maid service in private family homes.

Four years later, Helen was involved in a serious accident that could have taken her life. She wrote, "Oct 5, 1960 9 a.m. Our 1958 Belvedere Plymouth after being hit by a freight train on left side, flipped and hit on right side.
Then hit by a tank milk truck. I came out of it with a lacerated right knee, 9 stitches and one stitch in my right ankle. How I came out of it without serious injuries or death. It certainly was a miracle."

Helen was a deeply devoted Christian, even before the accident. She was a faithful member of the 1st Southern Baptist Church in Inglewood for over 30 years. Several of those years she taught Sunday school to children. She was also a voracious reader and donated her books to the church library after she had read them.

Perhaps because of the car accident, Helen did not drive. She rode the bus, walked, or made arrangements with other people. She had a habit of clutching her purse close to her side and one day as she entered a freeway underpass two hoodlum boys tried to yank her purse out from under her. Helen yelled out and swung her purse at them.

Among Helen's favorite things were her Pekingese dog named Puggy, her parakeets, and a poodle that once bit into a wire and lost the curl in its fur; watching Lawrence Welk and Roller Derby which she insisted was REAL and not acting; Frosted Shredded Wheat, hamburger patties, and her signature dish: Watergate Salad. She loved to dress her finest, adorn herself with jewelry, paint her nails, and get her hair done in a salon every Saturday.

* * But most of all Helen loved people. * *

She helped raise her grandchildren, two of whom lived with her for a full year. She kept in contact with her family back East, going back occasionally to visit; she was especially close to her sisters, Mae, Anna, and Mary.

Buried beside her on either side are Helen's husband, Ted, and mother-in-law, Tempie.

One last thing about my Grandma: She could not take a photo without getting her finger in the picture too. She is to this day deeply treasured and I miss her immensely.

 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John A Bradley Vinning (1870 - 1956)
  Sarah Jane Brown Vinning (1877 - 1928)
 
 Spouse:
  Theodore Roosevelt Neal (1907 - 1956)*
 
 Children:
  Arlene Waynett Ross Neal McNamara (1943 - 2012)*
 
 Siblings:
  William McKinley Vinning (1897 - 1937)*
  Donald Admiral Dewey Vining (1898 - 1976)*
  Delphia Mae Vining Bell (1900 - 1986)*
  Dessie Sylvertia Vinning Ryder (1905 - 1926)*
  Anna Rebecca Vining Bantz (1907 - 1996)*
  Lloyd Henry Vining (1909 - 1990)*
  Mary Geraldine Vining Anderson (1911 - 1999)*
  Helen Josephine Vining Neal (1913 - 1994)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Graced us with her presence April 11, 1913
Laid in our Lord's arms August 24, 1994
 
Burial:
Green Hills Memorial Park
Rancho Palos Verdes
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Sunrise Slope 103F
 
Created by: Roselei
Record added: Jun 18, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92150989
Helen Josephine <i>Vining</i> Neal
Added by: Roselei
 
Helen Josephine <i>Vining</i> Neal
Added by: Roselei
 
Helen Josephine <i>Vining</i> Neal
Added by: Roselei
 
 
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- orleans
 Added: Mar. 19, 2014
Love you, Grandma
- Roselei
 Added: Jan. 25, 2014
Always in my heart.
- Roselei
 Added: Jun. 18, 2012
 
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