Cover photo for Emma Claritha (Neal) Terry's Obituary
Emma Claritha (Neal) Terry Profile Photo
1929 Emma 2020

Emma Claritha (Neal) Terry

December 26, 1929 — May 8, 2020

Indianapolis, Indiana

Emma Claritha (Neal) Terry was born December 26, 1929 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She was the fifth child of Rev. Benjamin F. Neal and Lillie Mae (Curry) Neal.  She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings: Bennie Mae Collins, Curry Neal, Carolyn Johnson and Lillie Mae Sodie.  Rev. Neal was a District Superintendent of Arkansas and was reassigned to Delaney Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana, where Emma attended and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1947.  She also attended Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia and the Chicago College of Commerce.

On December 11, 1948 Emma was united in marriage to Chadwell Terry, Jr. This union lasted 55 years until his passing in 2003.  They were blessed with four children: Chadwell Terry III, Pattalyn Anita Taueg, Kimberly Ann Douglas and Neal Anderson Terry.

Emma was a member of Delaney United Methodist Church over 50 years until their relocation to Oakland, California in 2000 at which time she joined Downs United Methodist Church.  In 2018 she again relocated, this time to Indianapolis, Indiana, where she joined Wesley United Methodist Church and was an active member.   At each location, Emma was involved in various ministries involving children and/or choirs.

Throughout her life Emma was employed in various occupations including a long tenure at Ironwood Pharmacy, Placement Counselor for Foster Children for the State of Indiana, a school bus driver (a job which she thoroughly enjoyed), a pre-school teacher, and an insurance saleswoman.  All of these were in Gary, Indiana.  While in Oakland, California she was the treasurer for the Westlake Christian Terrace Resident Council. 

Emma was blessed with a beautiful voice, which she used to glorify our Lord as a member of the Senior Choir at Delaney UMC and as soloist for Gary Methodist Hospital Sunday broadcast.  In Oakland, California she was a member of the Oakland Bay Area Community Chorus directed by Bill Bell.  In addition to church membership, she was affiliated with the Gary Roosevelt Alumni Association, Clark College Alumni Association, Sunday Nighters Bid Whist Club which included her BFF since age 17 Betty Lyles, and Tall Ten Women’s Club which included another BFF, Gwen Gibson.

Emma enjoyed children and it seemed she was always caring for children other than her own.  During summers several nieces and nephews found residence at the Terry home.  She also enjoyed cooking and entertaining.  On weekends you could usually find good food and an abundance of it at her house as well as a few people just stopping by.

She was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt and friend who was very generous and loving to those around her.  It is very fitting that she was the baby of her family and the last to “go home” on Friday, May 8, 2020.  

She leaves remembrances to her children: Chadwell “Snaffy” Terry of St. Louis, MO, Pattalyn Taueg “PattyCake” of Indianapolis, IN, Kimberly Douglas “Punkin” (William) of Newark, CA and Neal “Shug” Terry of Indianapolis, IN; nine grandchildren: LaTanya, Tiffany, Bryan, Janel, Chad, Jason, Jarrett, Alisa and Brandon; thirteen great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; two sisters-in-law, Vera Terry Thornton and Brenda Terry Johnson both of Gary, IN;  favorite niece(s): Jill, Willetta, Amelia, Patricia, Dianne, Vernettra, Saundra, Sharon, Angela and Lorene; special nephews: Wilbert, Jerry, Dwight, Benjamin, Rodney, Delvert, Eugene and Marlon; and a host other relatives and friends too many to number.


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