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Murnace Hiram Clarke Neal
A memorial service was held Friday at Calvary Baptist Church in Modesto, for Murnace Hiram "Hi" Clarke Neal, 93, of Modesto. The former principal of Shackelford Elementary School in South Modesto died May 10, 2010.

The McHenry Chapel of Franklin & Downs was in charge of arrangements.

Born Jan. 13, 1917 on a farm near Watonga, Okla., to George and Bessie Neal, Hiram played football and baseball at Southwestern State College at Weatherford, Okla, graduating in 1938. Hi served in the National Guard for several years prior to World War II. He then served in the Army at Fort Chaffee, Ark., for two years during World War II. Hi began his teaching career with wife Juanita in a two-room school house in Dabney, Okla. He then served as a teacher and school administrator in Elk City and Sayre, Okla., until 1954. Both he and Juanita earned master's degrees in Education at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. After moving to Modesto in 1954, Hi continued graduate studies part-time at Stanford University, then taught fifth grade for two years at Orville Wright Elementary School. Mr. Neal served as principal of Shackelford Elementary School for five years before becoming was principal of La Loma Junior High School for seven years. Hi was the founding principal of two continuation high schools for underachieving students, Pioneer and Frontier (later Elliott Alternative Education Center). He served as principal of both schools simultaneously until he retired in 1980. Hi was active in Calvary Baptist Church where he was a deacon, Sunday School teacher and committee member. Hi served on the Mocse Federal Credit Union board from 1976 to 1996. He was also an active member of the Modesto Breakfast Lions Club. Hi enjoyed the 42 years he and Juanita lived on their small ranch west of Modesto where he raised cattle for 30 years, then almonds.

He is survived by his two sons, Ken Michael Neal of Visalia and Joe Neal of Modesto; four grandchildren, Sherie Altermatt, Susan Greenwich, Cyndi Waltmire, Sara Neal Candito; six great grandchildren: Sierra and Dakota Greenwich, Broghan and Luke Altermatt, Rayne and River Waltmire. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Juanita Lorene Ford, in 2003, and by sisters Fern Prickett and Beryl Anderson and grandson Joshua Neal.

Remembrances may be made to a charity of your choice or CSU Stanislaus Foundation, for Josh Neal Memorial Scholarship, #1 University Circle, MSR 300, Turlock, CA 95382.