Carol Ann Derrough Neely, age 63, of Lake James, N.C., passed away peacefully in her home on the evening of Saturday, September 21, 2019, following a three year struggle with Leiomyosarcoma. Present were her husband of 41 years, all of her children, her daughter-in-law, and her two beloved grandsons.
Carol loved her family with inimitable depth, and was admired for her love of the natural world; her desire to help and ease the suffering of others through her business, Plum Natural Market, which she owned and operated for 40 years; and the care, respect and gratitude with which she treated her own body and mind. Much like her parents, siblings, husband, and children, Carol had a playful, sometimes mischievous, spirit, and continued to play pranks on her family up until her passing.
Born in Matthews, N.C. to Charlotte Holderman Ray Derrough and Roger Asher Derrough Sr., on July 19, 1956, she graduated from Haywood Technical College in 1978 with a degree in forest management. Shortly thereafter, on June 11, 1978, she married fellow recent Haywood Tech. graduate Steven Morgan Neely, of Rutherfordton, and they began jobs together on the Blue Ridge Parkway; in 1979 they moved to Rutherford County and founded Gracious Goodness Natural Foods on Main Street in Forest City. Along with her brother, Roger, she helped co-found Earth Fare in 1994 and operated Earth Fare in Forest City for more than 10 years before re-branding as Plum Natural Market in 2007.
The Neelys are condo owners in Nahil, Akumal Norte.
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