May 30, 2014
Faces of Fauquier: Retired nurse volunteers in the ER
After Angela Neal and her late husband James built their home here in 1973, they began making regular contributions to Fauquier Hospital, where she continues to volunteer.
You would go to school and work, the bomb sirens would come on. You got used to it. Our school dug up the playing fields to use as bomb shelters. On the way home from school, you would pick up shrapnel and see who got the biggest piece.
After a long career in nursing, from England to America, she still has determination, energy and wanderlust.
Angela Neal remains active in the medical field as an emergency department volunteer at Fauquier Hospital.
At 17, she began three years of training to become a nurse at the prestigious London Hospital in the city’s East End.
Mrs. Neal grew up in the Midlands of England during World War II, when Germany launched a relentless bombing campaign against her country.
“You would go to school and work, the bomb sirens would come on. You got used to it. Our school dug up the playing fields to use as bomb shelters. On the way home from school, you would pick up shrapnel and see who got the biggest piece.”
In 1957, Mrs. Neal and her husband moved to Louisiana, where she worked at a hospital and a radio station.
When James Neal retired in 1973, they moved to Fauquier County, where they eventually built their rural home.
“I love Warrenton, because it reminds me of small town England,” the four-decade resident said.
Near Vint Hill
Volunteer at Fauquier Hospital in the Emergency Department since 1998. Worked at Georgetown Hospital for 25 years. Trained as a nurse at London Hospital.
• Why do you do the job?
It is the closest thing I can get to nursing. They encourage you to go into the room and chat with the patients. I get a cart full of toys and such to give them. I clean rooms and change sheets.
Husband, James, deceased. Three grown children, Claire, Christopher and Peter, and three grandchildren.
Parkfields Cedars, a girl’s school in England. Received her nursing certification at the London Hospital (now the Royal London Hospital).
• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
41 years, since 1973.
• Why do you live here?
My husband was in the Air Force, but he was a farm boy from Iowa. When he retired from the Air Force, we took a vacation out here and it seemed nice. Then he got a job in D.C. He liked this farming area. His great love was cows. When he retired a second time, we built this house.
• How do you describe this county?
Visually, it’s beautiful. I love Warrenton because it reminds me of small-town England.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I can’t think of anything. I like it the way it is.
• What do you do for fun?
I take yoga. I grow strawberries and rhubarb in my garden. I like to entertain guests.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Main Street in Warrenton, because there are more businesses there now. The farmer’s markets are really good.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I suppose it will be more grown up.
• Favorite TV show?
I like the mysteries on Channel 26, “Downton Abbey” and “Midsomer Murders.”
• Favorite movie?
I don’t have one.
• Favorite book?
No, not really.
• Favorite vacation spot?
My husband and I traveled all over the world when he retired. We went to New Zealand and Australia, Turkey, and cruised down the Danube River. India was the most interesting place. We went through Europe before we had children.
• Favorite food?
I like apricots. I also like figs.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
From my own experience if you have some adversity in your life you must make it strengthen you, not knock you down. There is usually something good in there somewhere.
• Who’s your hero and why?
My mother. She had a great deal of adversity in her life, but she was the sort of person who everyone loved and admired.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Travel the world. See as much as the world as I could in as many years as I have
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Previous Faces of Fauquier:
• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.
• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.
• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”
• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.
• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.
• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.
• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.
• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.
• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.
• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.
• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.
• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.
• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.
• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.
• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.
• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.
• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.
• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.
• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.
• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.
• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.
• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.
• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native
• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.
• His job dovetails with passion for hunting
• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.
• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people
• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.
• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.
• He lives and works in a beautiful place.
• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.
• Pretty things everywhere she looks.
• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.
• One day, he might run the company.
• FISH volunteer likes to help others.
• She sees the community’s generosity.
• Cop patrols while most people sleep.
• Pastor a constant in Calverton.
• She keeps the courthouse spotless.
• He loves working working outdoors at the park.
• She sees “everyone” at Carousel
• Library assistant works in a “fun place"
• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton
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