Lillie Bell Spell-McNeal

01/15/1936 - 10/11/2022


Obituary For Lillie Bell Spell-McNeal

Share your Memorial with Family & Friends

Jacob Spell, my great•great grandfather, was born in 1805 in Midwell, South Carolina, and his wife, my great-grandmother Charlotte, was born in 1835. They lived in rural Putnam County, Florida.

His son, my great-grandfather Govan Spell, was born in South Carolina in 1861. He was also living there. Govan was born in 1866. He married Amelia who was born in 1874. They had ten children: Govan Jr., Alex, Anna, Leavell, Jessie, Lucy, Emerald, Doc, Florine, and John. Govan who became the owner of his own farm. He made a living growing vegetables and fruit to sell.

My other great-grandfather Solomon Fuce, born in 1865 in South Carolina, married Elizabeth Robinson, and they had ten children Wilma, Frank, Lula, James, Arthur, Nettie, Benjamin, Soloman Jr., and Winfred.

My parents, John Spell and Wilma Fuce married on June 30, 1934, and became the parents of seven children: Timothy, Cora Bell, Lillie Bell, Charles, John Jr., Earnest, and David. I was born at home on January 15, 1936. All of my siblings preceded me in death except Cora Bell, my twin sister.

When they were first married, my parents lived with my father’s parents. Their house was off a dirt road that was, at some point, covered with gravel. Later they built a highway through our property. To make us feel special, the surveyors said we owned the highway. When they started the new highway, they bought our house so they would have easement space on each side of the road. My family built a new house on that same property, some distance away from the road.

Starting school at the age of five, I attended Mt. Moriah Church School which was not far from my home. The building had one teacher that taught all grades and one heater to heat the building in winter, There were no desks. We sat on benches.

We went to that school for eight or nine years. My father transferred us to Central Academy, A man that lived in the community purchased an old bus, and my father and other parents paid him to transport us each day.

I professed a hope in Christ and joined the Mt. Moriah Church when I was eleven years old.

I graduated from high school in 1955 but did not attend college until two years later. I did some substitute work, but I was not happy because I wanted to go to college. I knew my parents could not afford it, so I pretended that I was happy.

One day I went over to Edward Waters College in Jacksonville to take a test that would qualify me for college, but the test standards were set so high. I had not been properly prepared in my early school years. I had not taken chemistry, nor had I had upper-level math. It appeared that college was lost to me. Then God made something happen.

My pastor contacted Bishop Lafayette Harris who gave me the names of six United Methodist black schools. Rev. James Murray, the district /superintendence of the Emmanuel United Methodist Church, helped my twin sister, Cora Bell, and me get into Bethune-Cookman College by helping us to apply for a United Methodist Scholarship.

While I was attending college, I also attended Sunday school. Dr. W. A. McMillan was the teacher of my class. He asked me to teach the class in his absence, which I was very happy to do. Coming up to graduation, Dr. McMillan suggested I look at the A Celebration Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia, I decided I wanted to go there. He, along with others, helped me to apply. My former pastor and District Superintendent wrote letters of recommendation, and I was accepted. In a graduation class of eight, I was the only woman.

By the time I graduated, Dr. McMillan was the president of Rust College. I sent him a letter to thank him, and he invited me to come to teach religious studies. I joined the Rust College staff and Asbury Church and remained at Rust College until I retired from teaching,

I am a chartered member ofZeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and a member ofAsbury United Methodist Women, ARMS Organization, and Senior Adult Ministry,

I have always believed in the saying, “Don’t let your fears get in the way of your dreams.” I have had help every step of my life’s journey. May God bless everyone that extended a helping hand to me.

I, Lillie Bell, the oldest of twin daughters, married Richard McNeal on November 25, 1972, From that marriage came three children: Nicole McNeal Taylor, Reginald McNeal, and Esther McNeal. I have four grandchildren: Madison McNeal, Katrina McNeal, Dequarious (DJ) McNeal, and Jamia McNeal. My husband, Richard, and Nicole’s husband, Barry Taylor, preceded me in death.

I have many friends, sorority sisters, church members, and family members.

To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Lillie Bell Spell-McNeal, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


Add a Candle

Click a candle below to add a candle to your message.