Obituary of Karen Neal
Karen Renée Neal-Cameron (née Taylor) was born in Brooklyn, New York to the late Julian Carlyle Taylor, Sr., and Vivian Carrie Taylor (née Wilson) on April 29, 1957. She spent her early years in Brooklyn where she attended elementary and junior high school. After junior high school, she attended Sheepshead Bay High School. While in high school in 1973, she met Richard 'Rick' Leon Neal, whom she married in 1974. Thereafter, she and Rick relocated to Edwards, California where she gave birth to Reshon Tyesh Townes (née Neal (1975)), and Kerry Kristoffer Neal (1977), shortly thereafter returning to Brooklyn to be closer to family. In 1983 she joined the United States Air Force as a reservist and trained at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co. The Air Force is where she developed her passion for cooking. She received an honorable discharge in 1987 with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Fairly early in her time in the Air Force, she met Anthony Curtis 'Cameron.' The two became close, eventually they married, and were constant companions up until her death. In 1989 she and Cameron gave birth to Aleah Amari Jacqueline Cameron, also raising Aleah in Brooklyn. In 2000, she relocated to Orange County, living first in Monticello, then in Middletown, New York, where she continued her work for the State of New York until her retirement from Department of Corrections/Goshen Boys Residential facility in 2015. She was passionate about her career - she loved cooking and preparing meals both professionally and personally; the only thing she was more passionate about was being a grandmother and was affectionately referred to as 'grammah' and 'G-ma.' She was also a cherished sister, daughter, aunt, grandmother, cousin, and very recently became a great-grandmother to Zuri (Sequoyah). Karen spent most of her time cooking and hosting those she loved, comprising many members of her family and close friends (whom she considered family). She absolutely LOVED the holiday season and her favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. She would cook or help others cook and then claim the turkey 'pooknose' (that's what she called it). She might just fight you for that pooknose. She loved the holidays so much that when she was a young girl she would go over great nana's for Thanksgiving dessert and would overindulge and wind up with a tummy ache. Whether during the holidays or anytime, she routinely opened the house to everyone who wanted to stay for just a moment, an evening, or a bit longer. There are very few people she didn't personally touch with her energy and positivity of spirit. She loved to sing and she also knew how to 'talk' as well. With a quick wit and sharp tongue you had to be ready for just about anything that she would be say. She had a bunch of idioms that were very, shall we say, Karen and to the point. Including "don't do me no favors" and "one hand washes the other and both hands wash your face." Her most recent quotable was "if you got issues, I got tissues." She had an affable spirit and she loved a good party. She loved hard! In the end, her perseverance of spirit was not enough to overcome the numerous health challenges and she transitioned to glory on February 28, 2018. She is survived by her long-time companion Anthony Cameron, Middletown, NY; daughter Réshon Townes and her husband Keith-John Townes, Blackwood, NJ; son Kerry Neal, Esq., and spouse Dr. Jiashen You, Washington, DC; son Vincent Piggott, Sr., and wife Michelle Piggott; daughter Aleah Cameron and spouse Javon Simmons, Middletown, NY. Grandchildren Sequoyah Taylor, Morgan Townes, Keith Townes, Kai Townes, Janayah Cameron, Vincent Piggott, Jr., Carson Simmons; and great granddaughter Zuri Max Harmon. She is also survived by her sisters: Nancy Viola Taylor-Walker, and Denise Marie Taylor-Mosley (and husband David Mosley); brothers: William Elliott Taylor, and Kerry Taylor (and wife Adrianne Taylor). She is predeceased by her brother Julian Carlyle Taylor, Jr. She also leaves behind a host of beloved family and friends who will miss her dearly.