Iris Best Neal Thomas


Iris Best Neal Thomas, 81, went to be with her Lord and Savior on March 21, 2021 at Kitty Askins Hospice Center.

Iris was preceded in death by her parents, James Patrick and Mildred Brogden Best, her brother Jimmy E. Best, her second husband, Walter Thomas and the father of her children, Donald C. Neal Sr.

Iris grew up in Mount Olive, North Carolina and spent her adult life living in the Rosewood Community. She was a retired cosmetologist and real estate broker. Her love for people and her zeal for life will always be remembered.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Reneé and Ricky Parrish, son and daughter-in-law, Don and Joann Neal, and daughter and son-in-law, Drs. Valerie and Tim Barlow. Her grandchildren are Steven Parrish (Jennifer), Bliss Jackson (Josh), Olivia Neal, Brooke Freeman (Kenneth), Savannah Barlow, Scarlett Barlow and Shelby Barlow. Her great grandchildren are Martin Parrish, Marley Parrish, Paris Jackson, Dallas Jackson, Easton Jackson and Joanna Freeman. She is also survived by her brother, Thomas Walter Best, and longtime companion, Robert Snyder.

A Celebration of Life service will be held to honor Iris on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. on the front lawn of her son’s residence at 386 Perkins Mill Road, Goldsboro. Pastor Linda Burroughs will officiate. The family will receive friends following the service. Attendees are asked to wear a face covering and practice social distancing. A private interment will be held at her beloved homeplace in Mount Olive.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Rosewood First Baptist Church or the Word Church.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at


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