Rebecca Neal Tackaberry
Rebecca Neal Tackabery, 90, died Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012.
Becky was born May 7, 1922, to Julius Isaac Neal and Nellie Womble Neal, in Sanford. Dr. Neal, a veterinarian, moved the family to Southern Pines when Becky was in high school. She graduated from Woman’s College (UNCG) and married Richard Pethick.
Dick, a Navy pilot based on an aircraft carrier, was killed months later while flying in the Pacific Theater in World War II. She evidently had a soft spot for flyboys. In 1947, in Atlanta, she met Bill Tackabery, also a World War II veteran who flew in Europe, on a blind date to play bridge and married him later that year in Southern Pines.
Then followed an odyssey that took them to about 10 different cities over 28 years while Bill repeatedly was transferred or changed jobs in the course of his sales career. Becky was the consummate, traditional wife and mother of the 1950s and 1960s, raising children and keeping house, participating in whatever church they joined in their adopted communities, and tolerating the many moves with minimal complaints.
Finally, in the mid-1970s, Becky was able to move back to her beloved Southern Pines, where she and Bill lived and loved life for 30 years. While Bill was always the life of the party, Becky made several close friends along the way. She was the glue that held the family together. And she exhibited a quiet, ladylike dignity that she never lost, even after the onset of dementia.
In addition to her parents and her first husband, Becky was predeceased by her older teenage brother, Julius (Dooley) Neal; by an infant son, John William; and by Bill in 2010. She is survived by her children, Neal (Jill), of Winston-Salem, Patricia Foss (Rich), of Jacksonville, Ill., and Richard (Michelle), of Raleigh; five grandchildren; and Caroline Foss, her great grandchild.
Memorials may be sent to Bill and Becky’s church, Brownson Memorial, 330 S. May St., Southern Pines, NC 28387.
A memorial service will be held at Brownson on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.