Neoda Helen McNamee, age 93, beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, died June 10, 2020 in Anderson. She was a resident of Frankton for 54 years and lived the past five years in Anderson.
Neoda was born July 21, 1926, in Montgomery County, OH, the 13th of 14 children of Samuel Washington and Gertrude Irene Pennington. Having run out of traditional names, her mother allowed the attending doctor to name the baby-hence her unconventional name. Family and friends knew her as “Nodie.”
Neoda grew up in Dayton, OH, and attended Wilbur Wright High School. She worked as a bookkeeper at the former F.W. Woolworth Co. store downtown. In the late 1940s, her niece introduced her to Curtis Vernon McNamee, a handsome World War II Army paratrooper; she and Curt married on October 19, 1951. They had seven children in Dayton before moving to Frankton in 1961. Curt worked as a machinist, spending 30 years at Delco plants in Dayton and Anderson.
Raising seven children and later two granddaughters, Neoda and Curt were constant presences at Cub Scout, Girl Scout, and school events in Frankton. Neoda cooked chili by the gallon for fundraising events and was famous for her chicken and dumplings. She attended Frankton Christian Church and later Bethany Christian Church in Anderson.
When her children were all in school, she went to work, spending 25 years at the former RCA Corp. plant in Marion, IN. Starting out on the production line, she was promoted into accounting positions despite her lack of formal education. To earn extra pay and ensure she’d be available to her kids after school, she worked a grueling third-shift schedule most of those years. Although she did not learn to drive until she was in her 30s, she was a self-confessed “leadfoot” and burned up Highway 9 on her way to and from Marion. Her many RCA friends toasted her retirement in 1991.
Neoda was an avid collector-of Norman Rockwell art and objects, souvenir spoons that she and her children bought on their travels, and books. She raced through crossword puzzles, exercising the broad vocabulary she developed in a lifetime of reading mysteries, history and historical fiction, and biographies. In her later years she became a fervent fan of the Colts and Pacers.
Neoda is survived by six children: Samuel Curtis McNamee (m. Sandra Kay McElroy) of Knoxville, TN; Michael David McNamee (m. Karla Gail Taylor) of Chevy Chase, MD; Susan Marie McNamee (m. Jim Ragsdale) of Chesterfield; Timothy Shelby McNamee (m. Chong Suk Paek) of Killeen, TX; Elizabeth Ann Radcliff (m. Mark Wayne Radcliff) of Indianapolis; and Peter Douglas McNamee (m. Sharyn Lee Treude) of Anderson. She leaves 12 living grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband,Curtis, who passed away January 28, 1997 after 45 years of marriage; their daughter, Marsha Lea Toppin (m. Larry Joe Toppin), who died in 2000; two grandchildren; and her 13 brothers and sisters.
The family will hold a private service, with interment in the Knights of Pythias IOOF Cemetery in Frankton. A memorial service to celebrate Neoda’s life will be scheduled in 2021. Harper & Dunnichay Funeral Home in Frankton is handling arrangements.
The family requests memorial contributions to Hopewell Center in Anderson, www.hopewellcenter.org
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Neoda Helen (Pennington) McNamee, please visit our floral store.