Cleaster Tate Neely July 10, 1944 – October 10, 2022 Cleaster Tate Neely was born on July 10, 1944, in Gastonia, North Carolina and departed this life on October 10,2022 at Duke Raleigh Hospital, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Cle, as she was lovingly called, was the daughter of the late Rev. Cleveland and Roberta Tate. Cle married her soul mate, the late Kenneth Neely, on June 8, 1968 in Los Angeles, California. From that union their beloved daughter, Kimberly, was born. Kim preceded her mother and father in death on May 21,2006. Two of the biggest joys in Cle's life were being a devoted wife and loving mother.
Cle celebrated and lived life to the fullest. She was always trying to say something to uplift another's spirit. For those who truly knew and loved Cle, life will not be the same without her cheerful telephone calls, words of wisdom, and her funny and unique statements. Her caring and generous actions went beyond the acts of expectation. Cle was an honest person and worked hard at "not complaining." She continued to say throughout her life, "God is Good."
Cle was a graduate of Highland High School, Gastonia, North Carolina: Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina; Trans Designs Decorating School, Woodstock, Georgia; and Atlantic Mortgage Banking Institute, Landover, Maryland. She later continued her thirst to learn by attending Capital College, Laurel, Maryland; Oil Painting at Prince Georges College in Maryland and USDA Graduate School, Washington, D.C. After moving to Wake Forest, N.C., she felt that writing would help with grieving her daughter's death, therefore, she enrolled in "The Institute of Children's Literature", where she wrote many children's articles. She was encouraged by her instructors to submit edited articles for publishing but Cle only wrote for peace and comfort.
Cle enjoyed a long career with the Department of Justice, Los Angeles, California. After returning to Maryland, Cle worked and retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Civil Rights Manager; receiving numerous Merits Awards and Recognitions and Certificates of Appreciation. Cle took pride as a leader of the ARS Headquarter Diversity Day, where different ethnic groups learned and celebrated each other's heritage. The celebration became an important yearly event at the agency. Cle traveled from state to state with the ARS Care Program to assist in trying to make sure employment was equal and fair in the agency. While acting in the Civil Rights Associate Director's role, she worked extremely hard helping employees with their employment concerns. Cle was also very proud of her achievements in helping young adults advance in in their careers.
Cle was always willing to share her many talents with others, whether it was sharing a recipe, decorating or giving any helpful advice or support. Cle's quick wit and helpful nature was admired by family and friends.
Cle was an active member of her church while living in North Carolina, Maryland and California. Cle taught First Communion classes at our Lady of Sorrow Church, Takoma Park, Maryland; visited residents in nursing homes, and patients at the Walter Reid Veteran Hospital and volunteered with other community projects. After retiring to North Carolina, she taught a Genealogy class to senior citizens, and tutored children at the Boys and Girls Club. She was also a leader for Grief Counseling classes at Hope Lutheran Church in Wake Forest.
Cle was preceded in death by her loving husband, Kenneth and her beloved daughter, Kimberly. She leaves to cherish her memories: a loving sister, Barbara Currence of Gastonia, North Carolina, honorary sister, Lillian Whitaker, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina; devoted friends Robert and Janet Moore of Cary, North Carolina; nieces, cousins, sisters-in-law, and a host of friends and associates. God truly blessed Cle with many loving and supportive friends. She could never thank them enough for their love, support, and caring friendship over the years.
Bright Funeral Home is caring for this family. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 15th, 1:00 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Wake Forest, NC. Inurnment will immediately follow the service in the church columbarium.
For additional information, click here