(Editorâ€™s note: This piece is one in a series of â€śFamiliar Faces Fridayâ€ť features to be written by Spirit reporter Destiny Pifer. The point of the project will be to highlight a member of the community who may be recognizable to many and tell his or her story. Todayâ€™s familiar face is Toie Neal.)
By Destiny Pifer
Of The Spirit
PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” Toie Neal is a familiar face. You may recognize her as one of the former owners of the gone-but-not-forgotten Punxsy Hotel. Or perhaps you have seen her in the community.
Neal was born and raised in Punxsutawney. She is a 1961 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School, where, she said, â€śI was a proud member of the high school marching and concert band under the great director, Mr. James A. Colonna.â€ť
Ken, decided to move back to Pennsylvania to go into business with her brother, John, who owned the former Punxsy Hotel.
After three years, she and her husband purchased her brotherâ€™s half and continued to operate the hotel for 35 more years, until it was destroyed by fire in 2011.
â€śI did everything from office work to scrubbing floors, cooking, washing dishes and working at the bar,â€ť Neal said.
(Read the full story in Friday's edition of The Spirit)