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Barbara Hall McNeal Myers


Last updated 1/31/2018 at 3:50pm

Barbara Hall McNeal Myers passed away peacefully on January 24, 2018, at the age of 96.

She was born January 17, 1922, to Frank and Zula Hall of Crawford, Nebraska, the eighth of nine siblings. She grew up on the Hall farm and moved at the age of 16 to Santa Ana, California, to live with her grandparents and attend junior college. There she met Samuel Thompson "Mac" McNeal, who offered, that summer, to drive a friend's car to Nebraska for him so he could surprise Barbara there and meet her family.

To the end of her life, Barbara told the story of that perfect moment: standing at the kitchen window of the Hall farm, washing dishes, and looking up, astonished, to see Mac McNeal walking up the county road toward the house. Barbara couldn't wait to tell her father, who had once told her she would know a man really loved her if he walked out to the farm. They were married in Santa Ana in 1941 and made their home in a small orange grove, becoming the happy parents of three children, Christine, Fred, and Tom.

Barbara lost Mac to cancer in 1961, but she never stopped loving him and remembering the happiness of their lives together. She married the landscape painter Dean Myers in 1970 and they settled in Fallbrook, where they enjoyed the local arts community together until he died in 1992. She took tremendous joy in her family, who were always at the center of her life, and she of theirs.

She was predeceased by her beloved daughter, Christine Duckworth, and is survived by her sons Fred and Tom McNeal, son-in-law Jack Duckworth; nine grandchildren (Barbara Duckworth Miller, Susannah Duckworth Balice, Nathan Duckworth, Jenny Duckworth Saket, Tom McNeal, Max McNeal, Mindy McNeal Burke, Samuel McNeal, and Henry McNeal), and 12 great-grandchildren.

A graveside service was held at Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana on January 28, 2018, where she once again joined the man who walked out to the farm on that perfect day.


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