The McNeal Family and the Arbors at London are gearing up to celebrate a milestone event. Mary Pauline Cunningham McNeal will be celebrating her 107th birthday on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
McNeal was the fifth-born child of Carse Cunningham and Dora Belle Tyree, a long-time farming family in Fairfield County. She is the oldest living alumni of the former Fairfield High School, graduating in 1925 as a member of a class of three. She has lived her entire life in Madison County.
McNeal married Herbert G. McNeal and is the mother of four children. Her surviving children are Norma Freeman of London and Rhoda Church of Columbus; Lois Ann McDaniel and Herbert A. (Tom) McNeal are deceased. Her family consists of 17 grandchildren, more than 39 great-grandchildren and, at last count, more than 21 great-great-grandchildren. Among this number are several five-generation groups.
McNeal was a long-time resident of West Center Street in London, having purchased a home in 1945 that was built by her grandfather, Horace Tyree, before Center Street was paved. The residence is now occupied by another generation of McNeal’s; her granddaughter, Joanna, now resides in the family home.
McNeal has resided at the Arbors of London since October 2010. She is in remarkably good health, enjoys playing bingo and other activities at the Arbors and is ready to travel to the casino whenever possible.
Family members from Arizona, Ohio, Maryland, California, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky and Washington, D.C., along with members of her church family from St. Paul A.M.E. Church, London, will gathered at Stanley Park on Saturday, July 5, for a picnic in her honor. The celebration at Arbors of London will be on Wednesday, July 9.