Barbara Howes Neil, 72, of North Port, Fla., passed away Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, at Venice Regional Medical Center in Venice, Fla., after a courageous battle with cancer for many years.
She was born July 5, 1940, in Portland, Maine, a daughter of Lyde and Hilda (nee Mitchell) Howes.
Barbara attended Strong schools and continued her education at the University of Maine — Farmington, where she graduated with high honors. She received a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Maine — Orono. Barbara married Herbert C. Neil, Sept. 9, 1956. She was a respected teacher working first at Philips Elementary and finishing her career at Strong Elementary School. Barbara was active in both Strong United Methodist Church, and North Port Community United Church of Christ. She wintered in Florida, but always looked forward to getting back to her summer home at Porter Lake in Strong, Maine, where she loved the serenity of the lake. A skilled pianist, Barbara loved music and was always getting others to join her in song, whether it was Christmas parties, caroling or other family gatherings. She also enjoyed swimming, kayaking, baking, playing cards and, especially, spending time with her grandchildren. Barbara made a difference in many people’s lives, and was very giving of her time, whether with her music, her teaching or her excellent cooking.
She is survived by her husband, Herbert of North Port; sister, Ardis (Ralph) Copeland of North Port; children, Randall (significant other, Kenna Pulley) Neil of Chesterfield, Va., Sandra (John) Rogers of Strong, Nancy (Tim) Seelow of Jay, Maine, and Suzanne (David) Kidd of West Freeman, Maine; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at North Port Community United Church of Christ, 3450 S. Biscayne Drive, North Port. Those wishing may send condolences to the family at www.farleyfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238.
Arrangements are by Farley Funeral Home.