Sheila Smith Vannucci Neal

November 25, 1938 ~ August 14, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old


Sheila Smith Vannucci Neal was born in Lock Haven, PA on November 25, 1938 to Morris B. and Norma Brubaker Smith.

She attended Lock Haven High School where she was a cheerleader, and was voted both Best Dancer and Best Actress in her senior year. She loved attending the theatre, with a special affinity for musicals and, even through her illness, could remember the lyrics to every song Cole Porter ever wrote. She appeared in many plays at Lock Haven State College and was part of the cohort that founded Millbrook Playhouse in the 1960s.

In 1957, she married Ernest L. Vannucci and they had three children, Sheila Lynn (Lynnie) Vannucci, Philip M. Vannucci, and Philippe R. Vannucci Gallagher.

In 1969, she returned to school, earning a B.S. in Elementary Education and her master's equivalency from Lock Haven State College and beginning a career she loved as a teacher in the Keystone Central School District. She was a beloved elementary teacher and will be remembered with affection by many area students.

She was an astute political operative, and integrally involved with her union, the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA). She served as president several times of the Association of Clinton County Educators (ACCE), and was active in PSEA Central Region, serving as both Vice President and Political Action Chairperson for the region. She served several times as a PSEA delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly.

She retired in 2002, and in 2003 married the love of her life, Jack H. Neal. Together they enjoyed nearly twenty years of golf, dining out, and dancing. She also loved shopping, and looked forward every day to watching her favorite news anchor, Ari Melber, on MSNBC.

She is survived by her husband, Jack H. Neal as well as three children, Lynn Vannucci, Lock Haven, PA; Philip (Stacey) Vannucci, Ukiah, California; Philippe Vannucci Gallagher, The Villages, Florida; and two stepchildren, Brad Neal, York, PA; and Barbara (Larry) Neal Leland, Montoursville, PA. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. She was predeceased by her stepdaughter, Bethe Neal, her son-in-law Patrick Gallagher, and her daughter-in-law Melissa Neal.

She died on August 14, 2023, after a lengthy illness.

In 2020, in the time between the presidential election and Joe Biden being declared the victor, Sheila remarked that she prayed for Biden's win because she was sick and she couldn't die with the Republicans in charge or she would not rest in peace. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Clinton County Democratic Party, 2 Grape Street, Lock Haven, PA. 17745.

Friends and family will be received at the Donald G. Walker Funeral Home, Inc., 231 High St., Flemington, PA 17745 on Thursday, August 24th between 5 and 7 PM. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

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August 24, 2023

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Donald G. Walker Funeral Home, Inc.
231 High Street
Flemington, PA 17745


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