Cover photo for Betty Neal's Obituary
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1942 Betty 2022

Betty Neal

March 28, 1942 — November 9, 2022

Denver, CO

Rest in Peace
Betty L. Neal

Our Loving Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, and Friend.

Betty L. Neal, age 80, slipped away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday night, November 9th, of complications resulting from dementia and natural causes.

Betty was born March 29, 1942, as the third child to sharecropping parents in West Point, MS. Her parents, Jesse and Eula Mae Parham, had a second and sixth-grade education respectively,
making education critically important for their children. The plantation owner required their sharecroppers to work and not given time to attend church, which was a game changer for the Parham family. After Betty was born and the plantation owner declared that sharecroppers’ children were no longer allowed to attend school, the Parhams covertly moved to Indianola, MS.


As was typical of the time, the new plantation owner resented having to pay the sharecroppers and regularly cheated the family. After the birth of four more siblings, in 1948, Joe Nicholson helped the Parhams move to Friendship Community (Lexa, Arkansas), and with the purchase of 100+ acres - where they grew the food they ate and sold.

With their move perfectly timed, Betty immediately began attending Friendship Community School in a one-room school building that included grades 1-8. Betty, a devoted student, never missed a day of school and had stellar grades until the school was closed in 1951, and she transferred to Dory E. Perkins (Onita) Elementary school for grades 4th through 8th. As the first in her family, Betty attended and graduated from high school at Lakeview High School (Lakeview, AR) as one of the top three students in her class.

Although eager to attend college, Betty met, fell in love with, and married her husband, Donald H. Neal, in 1960. The couple, seeking a better life for their family, moved to Chicago, where they
had three children (Timothy, Delvert, and Lisa). After completing his engineering degree, Donald moved Betty and the kids to Colorado, where he was part of the first cohort of Black engineers
hired by IBM in Boulder. Betty worked for the Denver Post Office, learned her way around her new hometown, and had another child (Erika). Betty has called Colorado home for the last 52
years.


Betty loved people and was known for being loquacious, witty, and funny. She never met a stranger and often brought strangers home to feed them and help them find the resources and contacts to support their journey. Her love for youth led to her being a Denver County youth probation officer. To ensure that her daughters understood the importance of completing college, Betty completed her Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Metropolitan State College the same year her eldest daughter, Lisa, graduated from high school. Upon graduation, Betty continued as a volunteer Probation Officer until she joined the Lowry Air Force Base Finance Center and later IRS as a trainer and manager.


Betty had a productive career with increasing rank and responsibility and mentored many who have also gone on to have successful careers. Betty retired in 1997 and focused her energy on
politics, educating Parkhill youth, and continuing to feed and entertain the Parkhill community with a particular focus on her church family.


Betty was a devoted member of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday School, served as a deaconess, sang in the adult choir, and was a member of the women’s mission, where she established a clothing drive for the Parkhill community for over 40 years. Betty was initiated as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on November 30, 1991 on the Genesis: A New Beginning pledge line. Her work in Denver Alumnae Chapter was focused on the youth programs. Betty was also a member of the Queen of the South Order of Eastern Star, participated in many community-based programs such as SeniorTeks, and served as a Loyola Elementary School classroom aide. Betty received many accolades and awards for her community service.


Betty was preceded in death by her loving parents, Jesse and Eula Mae Parham, her beloved husband of more than 51 years, Donald, and her siblings, Eugene and Jesse. Betty is survived by
her sons, Timothy (Sandra) and Delvert (Margaret), and daughters, Lisa (Anthony) and Erika; her grandchildren, Janelle (Joseph), Erik (Kim), Alexander, Franchesca, Malik, and Kandyce; her
great-grandchildren Eziah, Jada, Kyncade, Jireh; her siblings Juanita (Eddie), Edward, Theortres (Effie), Gladious, Armanola (Major), and Mildred; her in-loves Olly (Karen), Rowan, and Gloria
(Walter); and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.


Betty’s sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, will hold her Omega Omega Service on Saturday, November 26th, at 10A, followed immediately by her homegoing services at 12 noon. Both services will be
held at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church (3301 Leyden St.; Denver, CO 80207). All relatives and friends are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a contribution to The Denver Foundation/Denver Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., on behalf of Betty Neal.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Omega Omega Service (Delta Sigma Theta)

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church

3301 Leyden St, Denver, CO 80207

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church

3301 Leyden St, Denver, CO 80207

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Private Interment

Fort Logan National Cemetery

4400 W Kenyon Ave, Denver, CO 80236

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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