Alma Meeks Vestal, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Despite suffering from cancer for the past few years, Alma remained a cheerful, steady presence to her family and friends up to the end, showing the warmth and compassion that characterized her life.
Alma was born on September 20, 1931 in Eden, North Carolina to the late Tyler Jackson and Mary Land Meeks. After graduating from Leaksville High School, she married her high school sweetheart, J. Neal Vestal in 1949. Early in her married life, Alma first worked as both a legal secretary in North Carolina and Virginia before becoming a very skilled IBM keypunch operator working at Fieldcrest Mills in Eden, NC, International Harvester in Chicago, IL and Atlanta Paper Company in Atlanta, GA. With the birth of their first child, Alma and Neal moved to Greensboro, NC and Alma switched careers to devote her life to her children and family.
Her love of gardening (whether it be perennials, annuals, vegetables or flowers) was a lifelong-love and revealed her unique blend of patience, vision and creativity. Alma was an exceptional “comfort-food” cook. She could always make something out of nothing and it would taste great! She had a desire to nourish and please and focused on the enjoyment of the people eating her food. Alma was also a creative lifelong seamstress and quilter. Belonging to several quilting guilds, she was a frequent winner in quilting competitions.
Alma was an active member of First Church of the Brethren in Eden, NC for over 20 years and shared many special times with her church family. Prior to that time, Alma had been a member of New Garden Friends Meeting in Greensboro for many years.
In addition to her parents, Alma was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Neal and brother Gerald Meeks. She is survived by son, James N. Vestal, Jr. of Wake Forest, NC; son, Jeffrey V. Vestal (wife, Shirley) of Greensboro, NC; daughter, Elizabeth V. McGalliard (husband, Robert) of Jamestown, NC; six grandchildren, Clare and Hannah Vestal of Raleigh, NC; Jacob Vestal of Durham, NC; Elizabeth Vestal Safran (husband, David) of Greensboro, NC; Aaron McGalliard (wife, Courtney) and Shelby McGalliard of Wilmington, NC; great-grandsons William and Nathanael Safran of Greensboro, NC; sister, Preston “Pep” Hopkins of Eden, NC; sister Doris “Dot” Johnson of Morehead City, NC; brother Olin Meeks (wife, Hilda) of Greensboro, NC; sister-in-law Geneva Moore of Greenville, SC; sister-in-law Jackie Meeks of Red Oak, TX and numerous nieces and nephews.
Alma touched many lives, radiated warmth and love while always having a joy for life and for quietly helping others. Like all the Meeks women in her family, she was compassionate, strong and was one of the most kind-hearted individuals you could meet.
Alma will be available for viewing by the public on Thursday, January 28th from Noon until 5:00 PM. Please consider social distancing and wear a mask. Due to COVID-19 a private, invitation–only, graveside service will be officiated by Tom Auker held at a later date at Overlook Cemetery in Eden, NC.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Home and Family Life Committee c/o The First Church of the Brethren, 730 Church Street, Eden, NC 27288 or General Hospice Services of AuthoraCare Collective, 2500 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27405.
Wilkerson Funeral Home in Reidsville, NC is serving the family and online condolences may be made to the family at www.wilkersonfuneral.com