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People ask me all the time, “How do you do what you do every day?” I always respond the same way, “It’s my ministry, it’s what God has planned for my life.” Growing up in a home with a religious background, evangelists would often tell me, that when I grew up I was going to be a preacher. I never understood why they would say such a thing, it never felt that way to me. My passion lead me in a direction that was not in a church but instead toward a funeral home.
As a child I lost a very close loved one, my great grandmother Gilchrest. This loss impacted me deeply directed us in what we were supposed to do. I was so curious about this man’s job that I started asking questions. At that time, there was no such thing as the internet, so when we left, I went to the city library to find my answers. During my research, I developed a great fascination for the funeral industry. In the eighth grade, I was asked to write a career paper. Because I had already done most of the research, and having this fascination with the funeral industry, I wrote my paper on becoming a funeral director. This solidified the foundation for the direction my life would soon take. I didn’t know how I was going to get there, but I knew that I wanted to be a funeral director and to take care of people.
After high school, I joined the Marine Corp. and used my GI Bill to attend funeral directing school. Subsequently, I went to work for a few funeral homes in Boston, Massachusetts and the Houston area. While in these funeral homes I learned what it meant to be in the funeral industry, and it became very evident that I had a greater sense of compassion for those that were hurting. I needed to build my own funeral home, to ensure that I could give people the kind of care they deserve. At age twenty five, I went into construction with one bulldozer. After several years and with the success of my excavation company; I was then able to transform my dream of owning a funeral home into a reality and fulfill my passion to care for people. When I turned 35, I reached my goal and broke ground on 200 S. Washington, Cleveland Texas. After building and operating Neal Funeral Home, I then realized that the evangelists from my past were not mistaken. Neal Funeral Home is my ministry, and I am often asked to preach for the loss of loved ones.
It is such an honor when families entrust us with their precious loved ones. I am filled with gratitude for the life and calling that God has given me. I share with each family I meet, that without a relationship with God and an understanding of the one that gave us life, it’s impossible to withstand the loss of losing a life. God has given me a gift to love hurting people. He uses me to wrap his arms around each hurting family, to love them as he loves.
Wife of CEO/Owner
William (Bill) Miles Douglas, 83, of Cleveland, Texas passed away on Thursday, June 18, 2020 He was born on Saturday, October 17, 1936 in Austin, Texas.
Bill Douglas, was a very unique man. He came to Cleveland Texas in 1973 and ran the Tri County Funeral Home, which later became Probst Funeral Home. He owned and operated Escort Embalming Service in Houston, Texas, he worked for SCI, then he returned to Cleveland and worked many years for Pace Stancil Funeral Home, he then worked for Neal Funeral Home from 2005 to present. He loved to fish and play poker with all his friends. Bill loved helping people, he loved being around people. He will be sorely missed by all who know him and those he worked with. He was a great man.
Charles E. Walker, was called to his Heavenly home on February 3, 2022. Charles was born August 23, 1932 in Ora Community of Hunting, Texas to Eugene E. Walker and Naomi (McClure) Walker. Charles married Francis (Wright) Walker on February 19, 1954. He served during the Korean Conflict from 1954-1956.
Charles graduated Huntington High School in 1949 and Landig College of Mortuary Science in 1951. Served 2 years of apprenticeship in San Augustine, Bryan, and back to San Augustine. He passed the State Board and was licensed as an embalmer and funeral director in the state of Texas, but could not be licensed until he turned 21, in 4 months.
He was privileged to serve many families in the communities of San Augustine, Bryan, Nacogdoches, Athens, Silsbee, Conroe, Houston, Lufkin, and Cleveland.
Charles was a member of First Baptist Church, Conroe for over 52 years, a member and past Master of Redland Ledge #3, A.F. & A.M. over 65 years and a dual member of Conroe Lodge #748, A.F. & A.M., a 32 ͦ Scottish Rite Mason, Houston Consistory and Arabia Shrine Temple.
Charles has served a Lion at Conroe and as President of Houston Northside Lion Club in 1975-1976. Charles was named Lion of the Year in 1973.
He served as President of Houston and Harris County Funeral Directors Association, President of Southwest Texas Funeral Directors Association and President of the Texas Funeral Directors Association in 1986-1987.
Charles was declared Funeral Director of the year in 1992-1993.
Charles and Frances were married over 68 years and had two sons, Stephen Charles (Deceased) and Ken W. Walker and wife Donna (Kizer); two grandsons, Jon Matthew and Kyle Clayton; and two great-grandchildren, Ella and Noah.
Charles was the first vice president and manager at Brookside Funeral Home, Houston and Cashner Funeral Home, Conroe.
Judy Davis is a native Texan. She was born in Houston and attended M.B. Smiley High School. She was the Houston Chronicle Newspaper Distributor for over 20 years in this area. She has 5 children, 16 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
After her husband's death in 2005, she began her studies at Amarillo College, where she graduated in the top 10% of her class, with a degree in mortuary science.
Judy began to work at Neal Funeral Home in January 2008, and performed all of her apprentice and hands-on training here.
She continues to work as one of our funeral directors and says she is appreciative to have the opportunity to serve our families with love and compassion by helping to honor their loved one.
Grounds keeper & Cemetery Crew
Funeral Assistant USN Veteran