McNeal, Bessie (Alston)

Bessie Alston McNeal

Bessie Alston McNeal, a longtime Las Vegas resident, passed away Aug. 14, 2011, at the age 84. She was born June 30, 1927, to Reverend Joseph Alston and Ruth Goldsby-Alston, in Gurdon, Ark., and was the third of seven children. Bessie received her formal education in Fordyce, Ark., attending Dallas County Training School and earning the distinguished honor of valedictorian of her senior class in 1946. While in Fordyce, she met Robert McNeal. Robert and Bessie were happily married March 1946. They began building their family while residing in Arkansas. Bessie and Robert relocated to Las Vegas a few years after marriage, where she furthered her educations in healthcare while also working as a housekeeper at the Desert Inn Resort. Bessie and Robert continued to grow their loving family, raising a total of seven children. Bessie dedicated her life to raising her family and lending a helping hand to others. She chose a career as a cardiovascular technilogist, retiring from University Medical Center a 27 loyal years of service. While there, she built a vast knowledge of special procedures. Bessie's dedication her career was as strong as her love for her family. With her unwavering drive for excellence, Bessie established herself as both a leader and mentor across the valley. Bessie was a passionate, loving, talented woman who placed great emphasis on the value of educations and having a positive impact on society. She loved to spend time around family and took great pride in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of her many hobbies included reading, gardening, cooking, sewing and extensive traveling. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert McNeal, of over 60 years. Bessie will be lovingly remembered by her seven surviving children, Robert A. McNeal of Del Rio Texas, Dorothy Lingston-Steel of Las Vegas, Shirley Allison of Las Vegas, Richard McNeal of Carson, Calif., Gailya Thomas of Lakewood, Calif., Reid McNeal of Grand Cayman, BWI, and Adrienne Rodgers of Las Vegas; sisters, Lillie Scott, Ruth Butler and Charlene Thrower, all of Las Vegas; 13 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Funeral wake will be 4-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26. Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, both at Bunkers Mortuary, 925 Las Vegas Blvd. N.

Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal from August 24 to August 25, 2011

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