James Elton (Jim) Neal

by Lynn McMillen
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James Elton (Jim) Neal of Huntland, Tennessee, departed this life on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at the Southern Tennessee Medical Center in Winchester at the age of 86. He was born in Adrian, Michigan on May 30, 1937, the eldest son of the late Buford E. Neal and Irene Vertie McKimmy Neal. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Mary Frances Lee Neal, whom he met in Jacksonville, Florida, while she was teaching there in the public school system. They were eventually married on October 7, 1961.

He was also preceded in death by an elder sister, Lillian Mae Neal Spangler Loring; a half-sister, Roberta Jean Decker Taylor; and two half brothers, Larry Lee Neal and Ricky Ray Neal. Paternal grandparents are the late John William “J.B.” Neal and Martha Saphronia Collins. Maternal grandparents are the late Ellsworth J. McKimmy and Lillian Orpha Tschannen.

Mr. Neal is survived by his son, Benjamin Elton Neal (Carla) of Huntland; daughters, Krislyn Kay Neal Robinson (Mike) of Belvidere; and Stacia Lee Neal Brown (Wayne) of Winchester; as well as 5 grandchildren, one step-granddaughter, 3 step-grandsons, and numerous other close relatives.

He was educated in the public school systems of Adrian, Michigan, graduating high school in 1955. He later earned higher degrees from Pensacola Junior College and Middle Tennessee State University. With time, he completed the Tennessee Police Academy Program and the Tennessee Firefighter School, where he served on the Huntland Volunteer Fire Department for many years. He finished his occupational career working for Northrop-Grumman in Huntsville, Alabama and the Marshall Islands, retiring in 2007.

He was an honorably discharged and decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, in active duty from 1956 to 1976, receiving the Vietnam Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, and was 5 times awarded the Good Conduct Medal. After his military service ended, he and his family moved to Huntland in 1976, where he lived the remainder of his life.

He enjoyed reading western novels and especially enjoyed his favorite dessert, Peanut Butter Cake, with a good pot of hot coffee. Furthermore, he was quite adept at playing cards, working on computers and playing computer games, and had a special aptitude for Mathematics.

The family will receive visitors from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, followed by the funeral at 11 a.m. on February 29, at the Moore-Cortner Funeral Home in Winchester. Bro. Jim Sanders will officiate. Interment will follow at Franklin Memorial Gardens. Donations in memorium can be made to either Camp Joy or to the Winchester Christian Academy.

Moore-Cortner Funeral Home 300 1st Ave NW, Winchester, TN 37398, (931) 967-2222

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