Spottswood Neale ’58

Dr. Spottswood Pryor Neale, of Valdese, passed away Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at his residence. He was born May 6, 1938, in Richmond, Va. He was the son of the late Dr. Richard C. Neale Sr. and Eva Whitehead Neale.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, John Neale and James Neale; sister, Diane Savig; and sisters-in-law, Yvonne, wife of Dr. Richard Neale Jr., and Emma, wife of John Neale. 

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Margaret (Peggy) Heubeck Neale; children, David Neale, Dr. Christy Schenck and husband, Dr. Scott Schenck, and Jennifer Neale; grandchildren, Sarah, Rachel, Alex, Ashley, and Andrew Schenck; brothers, Dr. Richard C. Neale Jr., Dr. Henry Neale and wife, Margaret, Dr. Wirt Neale and wife, Ginger; sisters, Beverly Johnson and husband, the Rev. Dr. Merwyn Johnson, Donna Kelly, and Vickie Peters and husband, Zayne; Norman and Barbara Heubeck; and beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews. 

At the age of 13, Spottswood boarded a train from his home in West Virginia to the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he received his high school degree.

He entered Davidson College, from which he graduated in three years. He then attended the Medical College of West Virginia and completed his medical studies at the Medical College of Virginia. He graduated from medical school at the age of 21 and then completed four years of training in Pathology at Emory University in Atlanta and Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro.

Spottswood practiced pathology in Camden, S.C. and later at Valdese General Hospital with his brother, Dr. Richard C. Neale Jr. for 31 years. He dearly loved his family and his church, where he served as an Elder and Deacon and held many committee positions.

Spottswood taught the adult Sunday school class for a number of years, and he especially enjoyed singing in the choir for the many years he was a member of the Waldensian Presbyterian Church. 

Spottswood was a member of the armed services as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas; Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro; and Eglin AFB in Eglin, Fla. He served in Spain and Alaska in 1964 during one of the most devastating earthquakes in that state. 

Spottswood spent years attending and participating in his children’s many activities, knowing that supporting his children during their formative years was an important part of being an involved parent. Knowing that, he also gave his employees that same opportunity whenever possible.

He was a very caring and kind individual who treated each person as someone who mattered. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. 

He and his wife, Peggy, were very close and still in love with one another, and enjoying one another’s company. They continued to share humor, which helped sustain them even through difficult times. He first introduced himself to Peggy as “Butch” and will forever be her beloved Butch. 

Because of the country’s health concerns, a memorial service will be held at a later time at the Waldensian Presbyterian Church.

A graveside service was held Saturday, March 21, with military honors provided by the United States Air Force. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the choir fund at Waldensian Presbyterian Church; Burke Hospice (which provided invaluable services to the family); or any charity of choice.