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1940 Frances 2023

Frances Diane (Thompson) Neal

October 17, 1940 — November 27, 2023


Frances Diane Neal, 83, of Amarillo, passed away on November 27, 2023.

The family will receive guests on Sunday, December 3, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 S. Georgia. The funeral service will be held on Monday, December 4, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at Polk St. Methodist Church, 1401 S. Polk St. Interment will be private.

Diane was born October 17, 1940, to Robert Terry Thompson, Jr., and Frances Taylor Bassett at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo, Texas. Having lost her mother in infancy, she grew up in the house of her grandmother, Georgia Sneed Thompson, who later became the eponymous “Big Mother” in a series of stories she later would write for Accent West magazine.

She married Herschel Lois Neal, Jr., on June 9, 1959, with whom she had three sons, Herschel III, Robert Terry, and Jarrod. After the passing of her grandmother, the family lived for a few years in the house where she grew up before moving to San Marino, California, in 1976.

While in California, Diane volunteered as a docent for the Henry E. Huntington Art Gallery, guiding tours and sharing her love for the fine arts with visitors and schoolchildren. During those years, she also volunteered in the Pasadena Guild, helping to raise funds year after year for the neonatal unit at Huntington Hospital.

She traveled extensively with Herschel over the years—to Paris, Argentina, Mexico City, England, and even accompanied Herschel on an eventful safari in Africa and a mountain hunt in the Basque region of Spain.

In the early 1990s, Diane returned to Amarillo and completed her Master’s degree in English at West Texas A&M University, presenting her thesis on the works of Elizabeth Goudge, who wrote much about family and the power of family to bring beauty to life and to heal deep wounds. The stories she wrote for Accent West magazine, in which she appears pseudonymously as “Alice”, expressed the poignant beauty—and, of course, the wonder—of growing up in Amarillo in the ’50s.

The home she gave to her husband and children was no less poignant nor less full of wonder. If anyone can be said to be the heart of the family, her sons, and her grandchildren would surely say it of her. Her love of beauty allowed her to see what was beautiful in others and helped them see it, too.

In addition to participating in many organizations—the DAR, the DRT, Beta Sigma Phi—Diane volunteered as a mentor at Mesa Verde Elementary, as a docent at Harrington House, and she especially enjoyed serving in the UMW at Polk Street Methodist Church, among the family of God—from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. For all this and more, her family is truly grateful now and will be forever.

Diane is preceded in death by her husband, Herschel Lois Neal Jr. Those left to cherish her memories are her three sons, Herschel L. Neal III and wife Kelly, Robert Terry Neal and wife Jonda, and Jarrod James Neal, as well as grandchildren Hayley, Marina, Nicole, and Joshua.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frances Diane (Thompson) Neal, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, December 3, 2023

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

Schooler Funeral Home Brentwood Chapel

4100 South Georgia Street, Amarillo, TX 79110

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, December 4, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Polk Street United Methodist Church

1401 South Polk Street, Amarillo, TX 79101

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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