Neil, 67, died January 7, 2011, in Pocatello, Idaho. He earned a degree from Idaho State University in 1966 after serving in student government and the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, as well as the ROTC Student Battalion commander. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Field Artillery Corps, completed officer basic training in Oklahoma, and attended Airborne and Ranger training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. After his initial assignment to the 101st Airborne Division, Neil fought in Vietnam in 1967 as a forward artillery observer and participated in the 1968 Tet Offensive. He was critically wounded by a mortar blast in February 1968, and underwent 18 months of rehabilitation in Tacoma, Washington. Neil received a medical discharge in 1969 with a promotion to the rank of captain. He then enrolled at the University of Arizona and completed a masterís degree in vocational rehabilitation. This also allowed him to resume smokejumping, which he had done in McCall in 1965 and 1966. He jumped from McCall during 1969-73 and 1975, then from Boise in 1976 and 1977. Neil worked professionally at Idaho Rehabilitation Services in Pocatello, then established a halfway home and counseling center for young adults in Carson City, Nevada. He returned to Pocatello to work as a counselor at Idaho Stateís College of Technology. He was a strong supporter of area Special Olympics and veterans organizations and a Life Member of the NSA.
news and events » obituaries