MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Family, friends and colleagues came together to Tuesday pay tribute to Mary Ann Neeley, the beloved author and official historian for the city of Montgomery who passed nearly two months ago.
The tribute was held at First Baptist Church on North Ripley Street.
Mayor Todd Strange, colleagues, relatives, and even a former students took to the podium inside the church. One by one they shared their stories about Neeley and how her many contributions impacted their lives and others in the community.
Neeley’s walking tours of downtown Montgomery and Oakwood Cemetery were popular among locals and visitors. Neeley also hosted a number of cultural symposiums throughout the years.
Neeley’s lifelong love of history, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the city and state undoubtedly left its mark according to her colleagues. Fellow author and historian Dr. Richard Bailey, who worked closely with Neeley on many projects, organized this event. He is hoping this is one way to encourage others to continue Neeley’s legacy.
“Anytime you had a question, Mary Ann Neeley had an answer. She was a fountain of knowledge and she shared it so pleasantly and easily with everybody. What I liked her most of all she did so with a smile,” said Bailey.
Those in attendance did have the opportunity to leave their memories in a guest book. The guestbook is being donated to the director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
Earlier this month the Montgomery City Council unanimously approved renaming College Street Park after the historian.