John E. Neel went to be with his Heavenly Father on Friday, February 21, 2020. He was 95 years of age. Funeral service will be at 11:00 am on Friday, February 28, 2020, at First Presbyterian Church, Lawton.
John was born on June 29, 1924 in Brookville, Pennsylvania to Olive and Jelbart Neel. He entered Army service in April 1943 at Altoona, Pennsylvania. John was assigned to the 44th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop of the 44th Infantry Division and served as an expert gunner. He experienced military campaigns in the Rhineland, Germany as well as Central Europe, and Northern France. His military honors included the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with three Bronze Service Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Ribbon and Victory Medal World War II.
John worked in the tire industry worldwide after his military service. He worked for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company from 1965 until his retirement in 1988. He was one of the first associates (Badge #7) to work at the Lawton plant. He also worked for Goodyear in various capacities throughout the footprint of the company to include Bangkok, Thailand, The Congo, Africa, and Casablanca, Morocco.
John was an extremely proud father. His sons, John and spouse Georgia in Georgia, Jerry (deceased) and spouse Angela, of North Carolina, Charles and spouse Marsha of Ohio, and Michael and spouse Jean, also of Ohio, were invaluable parts of his life. John was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Glenn and Meade, a sister, Jane and son, Jerry, and father-in-law Warren Osbourn.
He is survived by the love of his life and best friend, Joyce Neel. Also surviving are his mother-in-law Pauline Osbourn Hammon, sister-in-law Doris Neel, and brothers-in-law and their wives Rodney and Linda Osbourn, Jeff and Linda Osbourn, and Matt and Mary Osbourn, as well as his grandchildren, Kimberly, Courtney, Heather, Michael, Thomas, and Richard, three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews
John’s love spread far and wide. He truly epitomized the Commandment, “Love your Neighbor as Yourself”. John was the neighbor everyone wished they had for his steadfast ability to keep a careful eye out for the well-being of others. He truly cared about others and had the best interest of all he encountered. John’s goal every day was to “make at least one-person smile”.
John was a past Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge in Cache, Oklahoma. He received his Masonic 32nd degree and became a Shriner while living in Bangkok, Thailand.
In lieu of flowers Memorial Contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospitals or First Presbyterian Church, 1302 “A” Avenue, Lawton, Oklahoma, 73501.
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