×

Dunbar Funeral Home (Devine)

3926 Devine ST, Columbia, SC

OBITUARY

Kathleen "Kathie" Marjorie Neeley

December 22, 1946January 5, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

COLUMBIA - Kathleen (Kathie) Majorie Neeley, 73, of Columbia, S.C. died peacefully on Sunday, January 5, 2020 after an extended illness. Born in Jacksonville, Florida on December 22, 1946, she was the daughter of the late Grady Hardin Neeley and Marjorie Brooke Neeley. She was also preceded in death by her brother David Edward Neeley. She is survived by brother, Grady Harden, Jr., and wife Ruth McIntyre Neeley; nieces Elizabeth Neeley Mitchum, Melissa Neeley Spring and Ben Spring and great-nieces Neeley Anne Mitchum, Caroline Palmer Spring, step nieces and nephews Kellie Whetsel and Michael Oaks and children, Connor and Hannah, Gabe and Kate Whetsel and Taylor and Dempsey; Tobias Whetsel and Dylan Kaminer. She was blessed by being a part of a large extended family and has many surviving Neeley cousins.

Kathie moved to South Carolina from Florida when she was a junior in high school and was a graduate of A.C. Flora High School class of 1964 and graduated from the University of South Carolina with B.A and Masters Degrees. She taught school for one year at Hillcrest High School is Dalzell, SC. But spent most of her working career in the economic development sector in training and workforce development. She worked for the City of Columbia for four years as a job counselor in manpower development training. Kathie left the City to become the Director of Training and Development for Midlands Technical College. She developed, coordinated and implemented federal funded training programs for Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Fairfield counties. After one year at Midlands Technical College, she was offered and accepted a Project Manager position in the State Technical College Manpower Training and Development Office. Working there for four years, Kathie performed management and oversight responsibilities of the federal training funds coming into the state of South Carolina through technical education system.

In 1988 Kathie was offered a position in the Economic Development Division of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. This division was created as part of the state incentive package to attract new industry to South Carolina and train their perspective labor force. She worked closely with the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Employment Security System, community developers and government entities as well as the local staff at the respective technical colleges. Her responsibilities included the development, implementation and management of the workforce recruiting and job training projects (Special Schools) for companies locating a facility in South Carolina. She worked with many Fortune 100 and 500 companies, with the biggest and most challenging project of her career being the BMW assembly plant that located in Spartanburg, SC and their 22 supplier plants. Kathie’s career gave her the opportunity to travel all over the United States and Europe on project development actives. She enjoyed the travel, meeting new people and learning new things, but her greatest pleasure was in seeing the end results of all the work, new and better jobs available for South Carolinians. She retired in February 2005 after 22 years in the Division and 33 years of total service to the State of South Carolina.

Kathie received many honors and recognition including being listed in Who’s Who for upcoming professional women, Educator of the Year for the Technical Education Association and Woman of the Year of the American Business Women’s Association, Sandlapper Chapter. She was a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the South Carolina Developers Association, the South Carolina Defense Contractors Association and the Society of Plastics Engineers. She was also a member of Shandon United Methodist Church.

Kathie enjoyed being retired and loved her place on the Edisto River where she spent many happy times with family and friends. She also liked gardening, reading, painting, writing and decorating for Christmas but most of all she loved being with her family. Her mentally disabled brother David was the joy of her life and they spent many happy times together.

The family will receive visitors on Tuesday, January 7 from 6 until 8 p.m at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held on Wednesday, January 8 at 11 a.m. at Dunbar Funeral Home in Columbia, S.C. on Devine Street and invite everyone to join them after the service at the Neeley Big House at Sojourner Campground at Holman’s Bridge, 38 Riverfront Lane, Blackville, SC 29817. The family requests that any memorial gifts be sent to Babcock Center in Columbia, SC. Memories may be shared at www.dunbarfunerals.com.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, January 7, 2020
  • Memorial Service Wednesday, January 8, 2020
  • Visitation Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Memories

Kathleen "Kathie" Marjorie Neeley

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Keith Skipper

January 14, 2020

I was saddened by the news of the passing of Kathie. We worked together @ State Tech for many years with the Economic Development Division. Kathie and I made many trips to help bring new Industries to South Carolina and train their workforce. She was, as Susan said, a great leader with superior qualities that she applied to her work. Kathie always supported her fellow workers and did not fear confrontation for progress-just ask Russ.
I have learned of the passing of many of my bosses, and fellow co workers in this division, and am so thankful for having had the opportunity of knowing them. God bless the family.

Keith Skipper
(Lake Lanier)
Landrum S.C.

Mildred Krause

January 9, 2020

Kathy was the best boss lady I ever had we had many laughs together at work and all those lunches we had together. She worked very hard for the state of South Carolina I nicknamed her whirlwind And my Nickname Was RoadRunner. We had lots of fun with that she was really the best ever and I’m so sorry I didn’t know she was sick I would have gone to see her. She was very good to me and I loved her.

Susan Pretulak

January 8, 2020

I was deeply saddened to learn of Kathie’s passing. I knew Kathy’s first as my supervisor in Special Schools. She was a great boss! And a great mentor. I learned a great deal from her about economic development and how to work effectively in system where women were in the minority. She was a trailblazer, and she paved the way for others of us to follow. I also counted Kathie as friend. We had a lot in common: same birthday, a mother named Margery, a brother named David, and my sister’s name is Kathy. We often joked that we were destined to meet. As part of our work, we traveled extensively— she drove and I read the map. We were a good team.
Kathie also lived for her family. She loved you all so much. Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. The world is just a little smaller today without her.

RANDALL SEAWARD

January 7, 2020

Kathie and her mother were like a second family to me attending every A C Flora Falcons Football Game, where my closest lifelong friend, Grady, and I had the good fortune to be teammates. The 1969 and 1970 seasons were an adventure in many ways. Kathie just considered me another brother with David and Grady and treated me like one. I was honored that ironically Kathie was able to support my Navy Midshipman Football Team at the 'other Falcons' of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO while on a business trip in 1974. She was the 'only sister' I ever had to 'counsel' Grady and I. Rest in Peace Kathie

Harris Murray

January 7, 2020

My late husband, Thurston Murray, worked with Kathie at Special Schools for many years. They took some great trips to visit industries and had many funny experiences through the years. Kathie was next to Thurston when he was bitten by a donkey in Mexico! Kathie was warm and welcoming with a great sense of humor. We enjoyed times at the river house with all of her coworkers. I will be unable to attend visitation or service due to previous commitments, but please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. I can imagine Kathie and Thurston in having a talk with that donkey! (Mrs.) Harris Murray

Fletcher Spigner III

January 7, 2020

I would have expected nothing less than a wonderful life well done. Kathie and I are connected through the Reuben West Spigner families. She used God's gifts for the benefit of her family and her community.

Fletcher Spigner III
FSpigner@aol.com

Gene Crawford

January 7, 2020

I was saddened to read of Kathy's passing. Kathy and I were co-workers in the Economic Development Division at the SC State Board of Technical Education for many years.

Kathy was a very caring and supportive person. When my wife passed, she was very supportive of me during that difficult time. Please know that I share your loss of a very nice person and co-worker. I am unable to attend her memorial service, but my thoughts are with you.

Gene Crawford
Cheraw, SC

Tom and Maxine Miller

January 6, 2020

Our fondest memories of Kathie is seeing her sitting in a tube in the middle of the Edisto river socializing with friends and reading a book. Always wearing an interesting hat. This past summer was so enjoyed with her presence at the river. She will be missed

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Kathie with Neeley Anne Mitchum, her great niece

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Kathie with Neeley Anne Mitchum, her great niece

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Neeley, Liz, Kathie, Melissa and Caroline. January 2019, brunch at Melissa’s

FROM THE FAMILY

David, Kathie, Marjorie and Grady

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Liz, Melissa, Kathie and Majorie (Nanny) at a family wedding in North Carolina

FROM THE FAMILY

Kathie on a work trip with colleagues