Friend and piano instructor Edward Eikner remembers former Miss America Neva Fickling.
Friends and relatives spoke of Neva Fickling's love of God, family and music at her funeral Tuesday afternoon.
They noted that she personally planned every single detail of the service right down to the minute.
Those details included opening and closing prayers, scripture readings from the Book of Psalms, 1 Corinthians and Revelation.
They also included spiritural songs such as "It is Well With My Soul", "When We All Get To Heaven" and "Lord of Dance".
Dr. Donald Welch, now pastor of Chapel in the Pines at Seven Lakes, N.C., sang "Lord of Dance". Welch, a family friend from his days in Macon, taught a class she attended at Mulbery Methodist.
At one point, she heard Welch sing "Lord of Dance". After that, Welch said she requested that he sing it at her funeral. She reminded him of that request often, Welch said, including the last time he visited the Fickling home.
"Neva, when she asked me to do it, she said l want people to leave my service dancing," Welch said. "She was just a wonderful, musical, gracious and hospitable person. There was no reason for her to ever befriend me and Nancy except that she befriended everybody who came within her realm."
Hundreds attened Fickling's funeral. They included doctors and preachers, business people and maids. They also included prominent elected officials such as Georgia's senior U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Macon Mayor Robert Reichert.
Sally Cornelius met Neva Fickling while taking care of her father and mother-in-law. She called Ficklng a great friend, mentor and person.
"She was just geniune in what she was. There was no false about it, and I think that her service proved that today," Cornelius said. "She didn't want people talking about her herself, but her life spoke for that."
Chambliss, a friend of the Fickling family, said the funeral service personified Fickling.
"That service today was Neva Fickling," Chambliss said. "I can see her fingerprints all over it. The music was spectacular, it was very upbeat, and that's the way Neva was in life. She was just a very fun-loving person number one. But she loved life and she loved people and she was very good at what she did, and you could just feel that in that service today, and it was just a priviledge to have a chance to be here."
Reichert said the service fit her personality.
"The service was beautiful and most appropriate. I think it was especially significant to learn that Neva planned it all and wanted the arts to speak for her life which is so appropriate," Reichert said.
Neva Fickling died Sunday from cancer. Her funeral was held at the Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in downtown Macon.