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Russell K. Neal, 63, of St. Peters, Mo., passed away with family by his side on Sept. 21, 2012 at the VA Medical Center St. Louis John Cochran Division.

Russ was born on April 14, 1949, in Ranger, Texas, to Cecil and Blanche Neal. He had a special relationship with his grandmother Esther Eltringham. As a child they moved to Roseburg, Ore. He did not have siblings, however his lifelong friends describe him as a brother.

At the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Army and served three years including a tour in Vietnam where he was a field wireman with the infantry. He was honorably discharged and returned home.

On July 15, 1971, he married Kathleen A. Van De Walker. Together they had three daughters who were his pride and joy. He worked primarily as a truck driver and was a member of the Teamsters Union. In 1985 he moved his family to Phoenix, Ariz. There he developed many hobbies such as working on computers, metal detecting, and RC cars and airplanes. In 1996 the family moved to Fayette, Mo., where he built a home and expanded his hobbies to include fishing and riding motorcycles.  He later became a heavy equipment mechanic and worked for Hertz Equipment Rental. He was semi-retired by 2012.

Russ was a born again Christian who loved the Lord and enjoyed attending church, studying the Bible, and serving as an elder. He valued honesty and hard work and was well known for his infectious laugh and remarkable sense of humor. He was a true friend, a beloved father, and a source of guidance and joy to many.

Russ is survived by his three daughters, Jennifer Neal of Aiken, S.C., Tamara Strodtman (Doug) of Harrisburg,  Brandi Beagle (Jack) of Brighton, Colo. He also leaves behind three grandchildren, two nieces, two nephews, countless friends, and his cats, “The Boys,” Archie and Elliot.

A full honors military service will be held in the summer of 2013. Condolences and memoirs may be mailed to Brandi Beagle at 30163 E. 165th Ave., Brighton, CO 80603 and will be included in a memorial piece.

A special thank you is offered to Johnnie McGee and his parents, Albert and Marilyn McGee, for their loving kindness in Russ’s last days. Your friendship meant the world to him, and we are so grateful for your care and concern.

Visitor Comments
Submitted By: Judy Strodtman Submitted: 10/3/2012
What a nice tribute to Russ!

Submitted By: Glenn Ezard Submitted: 10/25/2012
I remember Russ as a football player and a classmate in the mid 60s. As I can remember, he was always a nice person. I'm sorry to hear of his passing.

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