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Neal, Edith, 1916-2007



  • Existence: 1916 - 2007


Edith Neal was born in Tillman County, Oklahoma, April 11, 1916. At the age of thirteen, Neal moved with her family from Oklahoma to Iowa. After attending school in North Liberty for five years she moved to Iowa City and later settled in Cedar Rapids. Neal was married to Maurice Keefer with whom she had three sons, Marvin, David Lee, and Steven James (Jimmy) Keefer. She was later married to Henry Neal, a metal polisher.

Neal dedicated her time and resources to a number of organizations and causes. She was an active member of the Salvation Army for fifteen years, and a contributor to organizations such as the American Indian Youth Support. Neal's charitable work came to the forefront during the Vietnam War. She spent eight hours a day, six days a week coordinating mailing lists, writing letters and wrapping gifts to send to servicemen stationed in Vietnam. Fondly known as the "Vietnam Mail Lady," Neal advertised through newspapers, radio and television for women who wished tocorrespond with servicemen. Her "Servicemen's Name Clearing Bureau" provided mail for over one thousand soldiers, of whom she personally kept in contact with some 200, until her failing eyesight forced her retirement. Edith Neal passed away on October 11, 2007.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Edith Neal papers

Identifier: IWA0660

Known as the Vietnam Mail Lady, Neal corresponded with servicemen stationed in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969.

Dates: 1931-1997