Obit request brings books to Neale Elementary

Neale Elementary School students Cameron, left, and Emmy Underwood, right, stand next to 24 books purchased for the school with donations asked for by their great grandmother Norma Lee Goudy Powell in her obituary earlier this year. Powell, 90, passed away in January and the family requested donations to Neale’s library in lieu of flowers. The school received $500 in donations and placed nameplates thanking Powell and her family in each of the new books. (Photo Provided)

VIENNA — Neale Elementary School students received a donation of children’s books thanks to the final wishes of a longtime Parkersburg resident.

Norma Lee Goudy Powell, 90, of Parkersburg, passed away Jan. 15 and in her obituary the family asked for donations to benefit area students.

Powell, a 1947 graduate of Parkersburg High School, has two great grandchildren who attend Neale Elementary.

“Everyone who knew Norma knows how much she loved reading, and most of all her grandchildren, so in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Neale Elementary School in Vienna to purchase children’s books for their library,” the obituary read.

Kayla Brown, library media specialist for Neale Elementary, said the response was overwhelming.

“Following the funeral, I received several donations totaling almost $500 to purchase new books for the library,” Brown said. “I was able to purchase 24 library-bound books that are now in circulation and inside each book I placed a book plate stating the books were purchased in her memory.”

Brown said she, the staff and the students of Neale were grateful for the thoughtful gift.

“I would just like for her family to know how much the donations are appreciated and that Norma’s memory will live on in our library,” Brown said. “It was a great gesture of generosity from her family in such a difficult time.”