Jennifer Ann Neal, of Indianapolis, passed away unexpectedly with her family by her side on December 12, 2017 at IU Health Hospital West, Avon. She was born July 30, 1955 in Clay County, Indiana to Judge Robert W. and Margaret Neal. She was 62 years old.
She graduated from Brazil High School in 1973 and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English (1977) and a Masters Degree in Spanish with an Education Certification (1981) each from Indiana State University. A lifelong educator, she was awarded the highly competitive Ruth Lilly Endowment for Teacher Creativity in 2005, which allowed her to travel to Ireland and Spain to study their respective cultures. She also developed the language acquisition method Spanish Quick Program sponsored by Marsh Supermarkets. She was a distinguished teacher in the Broward County (Florida) Public Schools and taught Spanish and English for over 25 years at the MSD Decatur Township Schools in Indiana. Among her many passions and talents, she also loved music, being equally accomplished on the piano and the guitar.
She had a true wander lust, literally traveling the world to places large and small in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and every one of the fifty states, holding a special place in her heart for Mexico and Spain.
Animals were always a big part of her life. An accomplished equestrian, she competed on the hunter/jumper circuit for many years and fulfilled a long-held dream of riding along the West Coast of Ireland, Andalusia and Castilla-Leon, Spain as part of her Lilly Endowment. She loved and owned many horses, dogs and cats over the years, leaving behind her beloved Terrier mix, Cooper. She was an avid supporter of the Humane Society.
She had a wide network of loving friends and was socially and civically active, regularly volunteering for Indianapolis organizations, including the Zoo, the Symphony Orchestra, the Ski Club, Ambassadors, the Propylaeum, the Eiteljorg Museum, among others, and she loved boating with Pontoon Pals on the Eagle Creek Reservoir.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Judge Robert W. and Margaret Neal and is survived by a sister, Ellen (Rick) Packard, a brother, Robert (Sally) Neal, and nephews and nieces Alexander Packard, Rachael Packard, Kathleen Neal, Robert Neal, an Aunt, Marilyn Singer, numerous cousins, and her life-long friends Diane Akers and Linda Carlen.
A celebration of life will be held January 6th, 2018 at 3:00pm at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 3535 Kessler Blvd North Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46222.