God saw the road was getting rough, the hill was hard to climb; he gently closed those loving eyes and whispered “Peace Be Thine.” Neal Henry Lee Rowland, was born on April 5, 1947 in Clayton, North Carolina to the late George Melvin Rowland and Irene Senora Watson Rowland. He transitioned peacefully from his earthly life on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at Wake Medical Hospital in Raleigh, NC. He was the fourth eldest of nine siblings; and resided in the Johnston Piney Grove community throughout his adult life, until his marriage to Marian PEU. Rowland in 2007; when he relocated to Raleigh, NC.
Neal was educated at William Mason Cooper High School in Clayton, NC.; class of 1965. He was a dedicated employee with K&L Steele in Garner, NC. as a laborer for many years; and later transitioned to GoodMark Foods (formerly known as Jesse Jones Sausage Company) in Garner, NC. for over 30 years; serving in management until his retirement from the company. Neal was a hard worker; and never missed a day of work. He always took pride in his work; and was well respected amongst his peers and colleagues.
Neal accepted Christ at an early age; and was a member of Willow Springs Free Will Baptist Church in Clayton, NC. He fellowshipped with many churches; and later became a faithful and dedicated member of Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC., under the leadership of Rev. Harry White, until his health began to fail.
Neal was affectionally known as “Neal Henry” and /or “Lee” by his siblings; and “Uncle Lee” by his nieces and nephews. Neal was a true connoisseur of good southern food; and he loved to cook. He enjoyed watching people marvel over his many cuisines; while being the biggest food critic if he tasted a dish that didn’t pass his standards of approval. One of his most popular desserts was his infamous Banana Pudding. Some of his other favorite pastimes included walking his pet dogs and cats; visiting and talking on the phone with his sisters; and helping serve families in need by volunteering at the local Food Pantry (“The Point Church”) in Raleigh, NC. where he developed a network of friends.
Neal was well loved by family and friends and will be missed in the lives and hearts of those he touched. He leaves to cherish his precious memories; wife, Marian PEU. Rowland, step-children, Teresa Evans (Mike), Lisa Smith (Jermaine), both of Durham, NC; and special care-taker and friend, Zeb Evans Jr. (Charity), of Raleigh, NC.; nine (9) step-grandchildren, ten (10) step-great-grandchildren, three (3) sisters, Edith R. Long, of Deptford, NJ.; Hilda R. Crudup, of Clayton, NC.; Debra Johnson, of Charleston, WV.; sisters-in-law, Beulah Rowland, of Charlotte, NC.; Nancy Evans-Thorpe, Sheila Yates; both of Durham, NC.; brothers-in-law, Johnnie Parker (Gail); of Durham NC.; Ernest W. Parker (Cynthia), of Garner, NC.; Clinton M. Parker (Marilyn), of Butner, NC.; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Graveside service at 10:00 AM on Tuesday April 28, 2020 at Carolina Biblical Gardens.
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