Beverlye Neal, Orange County civil rights leader, dies at 74

The Winter Park resident played a big role in Central Florida civil rights movements

Beverlye C. Neal (Courtesy)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Beverlye C. Neal, a woman who had a heart for civil rights and rose through the ranks of politics in Central Florida, has died at 74.

The Winter Park resident, who died on Monday, “lived to serve,” forever committing to uplifting humanity in her pursuit for justice, an obituary from Postell’s Mortuary, a funeral home in Orlando, reads.

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Neal earned her title as president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Orange County branch after starting her journey within the organization as a child.

“She was my friend. (Neal) served as a powerful and effective leader as president of the (NAACP Orange County branch),” U.S. Rep. Val Demings, who represents Florida’s 10th congressional district, said in a tweet.

Neal is also remembered for many firsts: first executive director for the Florida State Conference NAACP, first vice president of the Orange County Branch NAACP and founder of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. Orlando Chapter.

In a tweet posted on Friday, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said Neal was an unforgettable woman, shining a light on her “passion for helping those around her and advocating for important causes”.

Neal is survived by three sons and five grandchildren, enshrined forever in their precious memories.

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.