Cornelia (Neal) Chima passed away peacefully at Akron General Medical Center on January 2, 2022 after a brief illness at age 93.
Neal was born on June 3,1928 in Highland Park Michigan, the oldest of two daughters of Peter and Paraschiva Stefia. Her parents were first generation immigrants from Romania who had settled in the Detroit area to seek employment in the booming automobile industry.
She was an excellent student and was always interested in education and achieved both B.S. and M.S. degrees from Wayne State University and shortly thereafter met the love of her life, Cornelius (C.P.). They were married in Akron in May 1955 and spent the next 61 years together, raising three children.
Despite her family responsibilities, she was able to continue her teaching career at both the Akron Public Schools, and then at Kent State University. She retired from teaching in 1969 in order to spend more time with her family and pursue another of her many interests - traveling the world.
Neal and CP traveled on many great adventures together, including trips throughout North and South America, the Orient, Europe, and Africa. They were also fortunate to visit the Soviet Union, China, and other Communist bloc countries in the 1970’s before most "Westerners" were permitted to visit and this gave her a greater appreciation of what it meant to be an American citizen.
Upon her retirement from teaching, Neal became very involved with many social, civic, and charitable organizations in the Akron area including, but not limited to the International Institute, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, the Akron Woman’s City Club, WITAN, and most importantly the Weaver Workshop and also the ARC which serve individuals with mental handicaps in Summit and Portage counties. She particularly enjoyed’ organizing and escorting motorcoach trips throughout the US, Canada, and Europe for members of these organizations, and in her later years she was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Akron.
Neal was preceded in her death by her husband C.P., and her sister Valeria Stefia and leaves behind her children Lissa, Craig (Laura), and Derek. A private graveside service at Rose Hill Burial Park will take place at a later date.
Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes and Crematory 85 N. Miller Road Akron, OH 44333.
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