After serving more than 24 years in the United States Army, my grandfather, Sgt. First Class (Ret.) Neal A. McQueen, was laid to rest last week in Augusta, Georgia. He was an instructor in the Signal Corps at Ft. Gordon Army Base and did tours of duty all around the world.
My grandfather was a faithful member of the Masons. He served more than 55 years within the organization and attained the highest office of the order: Most Worshipful Grand Master, Prince Hall Masons, Jurisdiction of Georgia.
His dedication to the military and Masons were just as strong as the love he had for his family. My grandmother, Doris McQueen, and their four daughters (Sherron, Katrinda, Phyllis and Pam) were able to travel with him overseas. I remember hearing stories about them visiting Taipei, Taiwan, which is where my Aunt Phyllis was born.
Some of my fondest memories are when we’d all get together for the McQueen Family Reunion in North Carolina. The reunion has been an annual tradition that’s lasted more than 30 years. Granddad was known as the “Lemonade Man.” He made freshly-squeezed lemonade to quench our thirst after playing in the sweltering summer sun!
Our immediate family would get together for birthdays and nearly every holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I will always cherish the memories we had together.
At his funeral, he was given military honors, complete with a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. I’m proud to be a part of this family and see his legacy live through future generations.