January 25, 1924 - October 10, 2019 ELKIN Sarah Elizabeth McNeill Callaway (Mrs. Richard Fuller Callaway) died on Thursday, the 10th of October 2019, in Elkin, NC. She was 95 years of age. She was born on the 25th of January, 1924, in Purlear, Wilkes County, NC to Claude Ackle McNeill and Daisy Hayes McNeill. Lib, as she was known by friends and family, was the third of four children, Minnie Ruth McNeill Gentry, Dr. Claude A. McNeill, Jr. and Robert H. McNeill, all of whom predeceased her. The family moved to Elkin when she was six, but Lib returned to spend summers with her many Wilkes relatives. She cherished her memories of fun summer days on family farms in and around what is now Rendezvous Mountain State Park. Lib was a graduate of Elkin High School, Class of 1940, where she was an outstanding student, and Meredith College, Class of 1944, with a B.S. in Home Economics. At Meredith she played basketball, participated in theater, served as a class officer and held positions in student government. On September 16, 1944, while the nation was in the middle of World War II, she married Richard F. (Dick) Callaway of Henderson, NC. They had a loving and happy marriage for 47 years until Dick's death in 1992. Shortly after their wedding, Dick, then a 2nd Lt. in the US Marine Corps, transferred from Quantico, VA to Camp Pendleton, CA. Lib followed by cross-country train. After several months as newlyweds living in Laguna Beach, Dick shipped out to Guam and then to China, returning stateside at the end of April 1946. Lib came back to Elkin, where she helped care for her ailing mother and worked at McNiel Enterprises. When Dick returned, they lived in Raleigh, Aberdeen, Raeford and Carrboro, NC, before moving to Elkin in 1955 when Dick accepted a job at Chatham Manufacturing Company. In Raleigh, Lib worked at the State of NC Public Health Lab where she contracted hepatitis and was given six months to live, an event that significantly impacted her life and strengthened her Christian faith. After returning to Elkin, Lib worked as the dietitian at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital. Later she attended the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at WFU Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem and ministered to patients and families there. Lib was active in the community and enjoyed volunteer work. She was the first woman to serve as a member of the Elkin City School Board. She was a member of the Board of Directors of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital and president of the Hospital Auxiliary. She was a founding member and president of Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministry. She served as vice-president of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of Meredith College. She served for a number of years as Surry County delegate to the NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature. Most recently she was honored by the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow for her community service. Lib taught Sunday School at First Baptist Church in Elkin for more than 50 years. She started a "Young Adults" class at First Baptist, a class that still meets, and she was always close to and proud of its members. Lib was ordained as the first woman deacon at First Baptist and served as chair of the Diaconate. She willingly gave her Christian testimony in cities and towns around the State in support of Baptist organizations. Lib was an ardent supporter of Elkin High School football and later, NC State, where Dick and sons John and Ed played football. She never missed one of her sons' games. She continued attending EHS games, in all weather conditions, for many years after her sons had graduated. Lib loved Elkin, especially the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoyed hiking with Dick, friends and family. She was particularly fond of Doughton Park, with its long association with her parents' families. Lib enjoyed looking after her seven grandchildren and they loved to visit her. Lib is survived by three sons, Richard F. (Rick) Callaway, Jr. and Beth Callaway of Houston, Texas; John J.S. Callaway III and Kathi Callaway of Davidson, NC; and Edward M. Callaway and Rosie Callaway of Elkin. In addition she is survived by her grandchildren, Robert B. Callaway, wife Allison Callaway and great-grandson Thomas Richard Callaway (Laguna Niguel, CA); Sarah Elizabeth Callaway Sulma and husband Scott Sulma (Houston); Katie Callaway (Chicago), Emily Callaway (Las Vegas) and Leah Callaway (Washington, DC); David Callaway, wife Allison Callaway and great-grandson Elliot Callaway (Cumming, GA); and Eric Callaway (Valdosta, GA). She is also survived by eight nieces and nephews, including Ann McNeill Rogers, Robert Hayes McNeill, Claude A. (Mac) McNeill, J. Sam Gentry, Drew McNeill, Ruth Ann Rigaud, Jane Mills Hicks and Kathy Mills Williams. The family wishes to thank her many caregivers at Pruitthealth for their kind and attentive care. The family specially thanks Linda Blackburn, her faithful friend and loving caregiver. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church, 110 Gwyn Ave., Elkin, NC 28621 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 11 a.m. Conducted by Rev. Mark Reece and Dr. Bill Johnson. The service will be followed by a reception at the Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministry, 290 N. Bridge St. Elkin, NC 28621, to First Baptist Church or to a charity of your choice. John Kennedy, funeral director is assisting the Callaway family with arrangements
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