Built on a Rock

Built on a Rock

A Memoir of Family, Faith and Place

Jerry D. Neal with Jerry Bledsoe

Jerry Neal grew up in the Uwharrie Mountains of Randolph County, North Carolina, where his parents, the children of get-by farmers, met on a big flat rock by a muddy rural road in the midst of the Great Depression when both were fourteen. They married five years later.

As a child, Jerry looked forward to the big Sunday dinners cooked on a wood range by his grandmother, Myrtle, and to his long and enlightening Sunday afternoon walks with Grandpa Edd, his great-grandfather, through the countryside where his family had lived for generations.

An early interest in science, fuelled by much childhood experimentation, took Jerry to a career in electronics. Eventually, he and two partners, Bill Pratt and Powell Seymour, founded RF Micro Devices, a company that proved crucial to the cell-phone phenomenon.

That success allowed Jerry and his wife Linda to devote themselves to causes helping children, particularly St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Victory Junction Gang Camp. The values instilled by family and their Quaker faith also led them to a commitment to the community where they live on land that once was part of Jerry’s grandparents’ farm.

The Neals spent more than six years planning and building Linbrook Hall, a Greek revival mansion that is to be a house for giving, dedicated to charitable purposes. Linbrook Hall was built not far from the spot where Jerry’s parents met. The rock that brought them together now stands in the garden, a monument to family and place. In this revealing memoir, often funny and at times deeply moving, Jerry Neal opens his heart to tell a story of faith and love.

To purchase autographed copies of Built on a Rock, please visit Linbrook Heritage Estate’s Gift Shop, which is located at 5507 Snyder Country Road, Trinity, NC 27370.