Gretchen R. Neal

Posted On February 19th, 2014 -

2-19-Gretchen-NealGRETCHEN R. NEAL Gretchen Neal, 75, of Kailua, died December 7, 2013. She was born and raised in New Mexico. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Colorado, moved to Hawaii, became a Registered Nurse and was the first female accepted into the Health Services Administration Program at UH Manoa where she earned her Master’s Degree in Public Health. Gretchen retired as the Chief Operating Officer for the American Cancer Society, Hawaii and Texas Division in 2004. During her 34 years at ACS, she saw the founding of the first Children’s Cancer Summer Camp, worked tirelessly for the Relay For Life, was involved in the first chemotherapy program in the state, saw the decline in use of tobacco, witnessed advancement and adoption of cancer screening techniques, and provided funding for the Wig Room at ACS. Gretchen enjoyed her retirement and remained active in the community serving in leadership roles in the Assistance League of Hawaii and the Adventurer’s Club. She was a Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts where she received the Women of Distinction Award in 1995 and was an Honorary Life Member of ACS. Her greatest passions were spending time with family and friends, her pets, volunteering, traveling, and playing games of all kinds. She played regularly on several bridge leagues and loved to entertain. Gretchen was preceded in death by her husband Bill Neal and her parents. She is survived by her daughter, Kimberly Neal; daughter-in-law, Marikaye Neal; sister-in-law, Mary Lou Sherman; brother-in-law, Richard Neal; grandchildren, Colin Neal, Maleah Neal, Caynan Sherwood; and numerous Littleton and Rolf relatives. Gretchen loved Hawaii and its people deeply. She will be missed by many. A celebration of her life will be held on March 8, 2014 at 11am, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Honolulu. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran