Hedwig Wood Neale, “Heddie,” 87, passed away suddenly October 16, 2014 surrounded by her devoted family. Heddie was born April 2, 1927, in Rhode Island. She was the daughter of the late Frederick Gregory Brown and his wife Grace Eugenie Lustig.
Heddie worked at Hospital Trust, where she was a branch manager, and retired in 1983. She was ordained as a deacon of the Episcopal Church June 23, 1990, where she found her true calling, helping others. She was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for 49 years.
Known affectionately as “Baba,” she raised five children and has been the heart of her family. She enjoyed gardening, playing bridge and mahjongg with her friends, traveling and most of all spending time with her large, boisterous clan. She was a “Friend of Bill W.” for 27 years, helped and inspired others with her strength and commitment. She touched hundreds if not thousands of people with her kindness, compassion and peaceful spirit.
Heddie is survived by her sister Claire “Dusty” Bergin of Australia, and five children: John Neale and wife Cindy, Dr. Glen Neale and wife Gail , Chris Neale and wife Robin, Mike Neale and wife Denise, and Tamara McKenney and her husband James. She is also survived by her 12 grandchildren, Silas Neale and wife Colleen, Vahri Neale, Liam Neale, Kaela Neale, Matthew Neale, Joel Stark, Elizabeth Stark, Mary McKenney, Emily McKenney, Brendon Welch, Blake Nall and Daniel Nall, many nieces and nephews and extended family members. She is preceded in death by her brother Dr. Lorand Brown, and sisters Sonia Swanson, Joan Fowler, and Lois Russell.
A Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated Sunday, October 19, at 3 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Pierce Street, East Greenwich. Contributions may be made in her honor to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.