Class of 1960‎ > ‎



                                                                                    Kay Nealy-Deal
                                                                                    Birmingham, AL
                                                                                      Walhalla, SC

                                                                              (January 14, 1942 - March 16, 2012)

Kay was the daughter of Jess and Virginia Nealy, both deceased.  She is survived by her husband, Major Douglas Deal, USAF (retired), her daughter Dr. Darby McElderry, her two beloved grandchildren, and her brother John Nealy. 

Words are inadequate  when describing such a person as Kay Deal who had such a positive impact on so many people.
Her daughter's eulogy below speaks to the task and it is just as Kay would have wanted.

"Bless be the tie that binds"  


            Peace can seem difficult to attain at times of stress and bereavement. I do not begin to understand death. I know medically what happens to the body as death approaches. I know emotionally how loved ones cope with it. I know that it will come for us all. What I do not understand, nor any of us, is why or when God calls a particular soul to him, nor why some suffer so much prior to death. This is the great mystery, the great unknown, the question to which only He knows the answer. We, here, can only accept and acknowledge that God's plan is beyond our mere human understanding. That we alone cannot conquer death, but must face it, even when it's so very hard. But that we CAN have peace, the peace that passes all understanding, in our hearts and our minds. Peace knowing Mom is now with God, the great physician, who has healed her body and made her whole again. And with Jesus, her Savior, who has undoubtedly looked upon her and pronounced , "Well done, my good and faithful servant".  

            Because Mom was such a servant of Christ!  Always attending to others' needs, making sure Doug, her grandchildren, and others around her were comfortable -always serving others, even ignoring her own comfort to do so. This was evident in both her personal and professional life, as she was often known to give away many of our family's things to students in need, and in fact would sit at each student's desk before school began to pray specifically for them  Over the past few weeks, we heard so many stories from friends and family on VoiceQuilt, Caring Bridge, through emails and phone calls, about what an impact Mom had made in their lives. We thank each of you for sharing these. We thank God for calling her to a career in which she served Him always, modeling a servant's heart daily to her many students over the years. Mom was really amazed hearing all these stories of how she had touched the world-really, at what a vessel she has been for God's love to others.

             About a week ago, I was lying on the bed next to Mom, planning this service. She carefully showed me which scriptures she wanted read, songs played or sung.  While this may seem odd to some, it was perfectly reasonable to us- you see, like me, Mom was a planner, a do-er, a busy bee. Right until the very end. She was also thinking of others until the very end - waking up to make sure I had asked the kids if they wanted a Coke float. She was, as one of my dear friends said, the epitome of a lady- someone who always made everyone around her feel welcome and comfortable in her presence. Another friend said of Mom: "to have met Kay was to have loved her." Undoubtedly, she had that effect on people throughout her life. I believe it was because the light of God in her heart shone out for all to see. She was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, teacher, grandmother, and, most of all, a woman with the Love of God in her heart. I thank her for modeling for me strength in Christ, grace, patience, perseverance,  love of others, and love of God. I thank her for making me want to be a grown woman just like her, but for also for keeping me from taking myself too seriously, and providing a fun, love-filled childhood full of wonderful memories. And then creating more of those for and with my children.

          My dearest mother, cancer has not won over you.  It cannot invade your soul.  It cannot suppress your memories, kill friendships, destroy peace, conquer your spirit, shatter hope, cripple your love, corrode your faith or silence your courage. It cannot steal eternal life.

 2 Peter 3:4 tells us "don't forget this, dear friends, that a day or a thousand years from now is like tomorrow to the Lord." So: Mom, Kay, Nana, sister, friend, teacher, Magnolia: we miss you. You take a piece of us with you, and we will always love you, and we will see you again "tomorrow"  

Memorial to Kay Deal from the Class of '60 
Located at Walhalla Elementary School where she taught

                                                                                              "There is no right way to do the wrong thing"