Roger Alton Neal
Dec. 10, 2021
Roger Alton Neal, 74, Noblesville, passed away on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, at his hand-built log home in the woods.
Mr. Neal was a 1965 graduate of Noblesville High School. In June of 1966, before his sophomore year at Purdue University, he enlisted in the United States Navy. At age 19, he shipped out to Da Nang, South Vietnam. Having driven Harger Farms tractors as a teenager, he had a natural knack for heavy machinery. Upon entry into the Navy, he was assigned the rank of 3rd Class Petty Officer as a member of The Fighting Seabees. When he returned from active duty, his service to his country (and the GI Bill) paid for three more years of Purdue University, where he obtained a biology degree.
He worked for 37 years for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as a wildlife biologist, property manager and specialist at Hovey Lake, Glendale, and Indianapolis. He was universally respected by colleagues, hunters, employees, farmers, campers, and fishermen and was integral in implementing increased wildlife conservation efforts. In his “spare time”, he scouted, harvested, hauled, split, and delivered thousands of loads of the finest firewood to Daviess and Hamilton County families.
Mr. Neal worked tirelessly, using only a Rand McNally atlas and guide books to plan once in a lifetime summer vacations for his family. To Yellowstone, Yosemite, Redwood National Forest, Crater Lake, the Grand Canyon, The Alamo and Alaska. He found unlimited pleasure in the outdoors and cherished every second he spent there. He was a lifelong member of Union United Methodist Church. He loved The Beach Boys, pick-up trucks, Gene Keady, the St. Louis Cardinals, changing his own oil, Budweiser, bluegill fillets, firm handshakes, Red Wing boots and his father’s 1950 Ford 8N tractor.
He encouraged his children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren to never stop learning. To ask questions. To respect your elders. To be fearless. To take your lumps. He taught them to do something right the first time, that nothing is ever broke, and, most importantly, to leave the world a better place than what you found it.
Survivors include his loving wife of 52 years, Sharon Sue Gibson Neal; son Jeff (Jamie) Neal of Vincennes; daughter, Jennifer (Chad) Schlotter of Noblesville; sisters, Darlene (Joel) Musselman of Noblesville and Marilyn (Niles) Cline of Union, Ky.; and grandchildren Allison, Haley, Katelyn, Kyle, Kolden, Chase and Cooper.
He was preceded in death by his father, George Russell Neal; mother, Leona (Harrold) Neal; at least seven John Deere lawnmowers; horses Dusty, Star & Lady; and dozens of good dogs, including Babe, Laddie, Belle, and his four-legged best friend, Heidi.
Visitation is scheduled on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Randall & Roberts Funeral Home, 1150 Logan Street, Noblesville, Ind. The funeral service is scheduled on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at Randall & Roberts Funeral Home. Mr. Neal will be laid to rest following the service at Crownland Cemetery, 1776 Monument Street, Noblesville, Ind.
Memorial contributions may be made to Union United Methodist Church, 19090 Deshane Avenue, Noblesville, Ind. and Alzheimer’s Association, 50 E. 91st Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, Ind., 46240. Condolences: www.randallroberts.com