Arnold Eugene “Arnie” Neely, 90, of Cherrytree, closed his eyes here on earth Friday morning May 12, 2017 and opened them in the arms of his loving wife in Heaven.
Arnold was born on March 11, 1927 in Reidsburg, PA, a son of the late Miles Edward and Goldie Mae Cragel Neely. Arnold’s mother passed away when he was just 18 months old. His father was unable to care for him as a baby due to farm work, so Arnold went to live with his grandparents, Jacob and Maggie Jane Longwell. In later years, Arnold remembered his grandfather telling him of his long journey across the country in the late 1800’s from the west on a covered wagon and team of horses settling in Clarion, PA. When Arnold was 6 years old and ready for school, he was sent back to Ninevah to live with his father on the farm.
He was married to Phyllis Lucille Skelly of Diamond on February 26, 1949 in Geneva, OH by Rev. Black of the Diamond Church. Arnold met Phyllis at an airshow at the Titusville airport and from that day on, they celebrated 45 wonderful years of marriage before she went to be with our Lord and Savior.
Arnold had attended the Ashland School. He was of the protestant faith, although he was not a practicing member of a church, he was never the less a very spiritual man who knew his Bible and had an unwavering belief in God.
Arnold was a veteran having served from 1945 to 1947 in the US Army during World War II in Italy. He served with the 88th Blue Devils Division Company C.
Arnold had been employed at General Electric in Erie and also at Manion Steel Barrel in Oil City for 14 years. He had been employed as a truck driver for PennDOT for 31 years until his retirement in 1986 due to illness.
Arnold was an avid gardener; a Steeler football fan and NASCAR race fan. He also enjoyed watching wrestling. He enjoyed being outside tending to his garden and maintaining his yard. He spent countless hours on his tractors. Most important to him was his family of whom he was always proud of. He enjoyed visiting and sharing his humor with everyone. He loved taking long country rides with his one and only love, his wife Phyllis.
Arnold always looked forward to deer season and hunting with his boys, son-in-law, grandsons and the many friends, family, and neighbors throughout the years. He leaves behind fond memories of perhaps a few slightly exaggerated hunting stories told at the breakfast table on the first day of buck season. His two granddaughters, the only girls hunting in the family, were Missy and Tiffany. They got a kick out of those stories and now realize how precious those memories are of their Grampa Neely. He will always be remembered for his gruff, stern and loving nature.
He is survived by the following children; Darlene Dingle and husband Robert of Titusville, Ronald Neely and wife Chris of Dubois, Ronda Graff of Titusville, Carl Neely and wife Sue of Franklin, Pam Neely of Titusville, Susie Hannold and husband Ken of Titusville, Darwin Neely and wife Diane of Houston, TX, and Melanie Keyes and husband Dale of Titusville; 12 grandchildren, Melissa Gormley and husband Michael, Shawnette Neely and companion Fred Rood, Eugene Hannold and companion Yolanda Haynes, Troy Neely, Renee Neely, Heather Calcote and husband Jerry, Travis Keyes and wife Tina, Leslie Keyes, Cory Neely and wife Jen, Shawn Neely and wife Katie, Tiffany Miller and husband Toby, and Todd Dingle and fiancée Abby Faulhaber; 27 great grandchildren, Josie, Cy, Amber, Cassandra, Briana, Vivian, Triston, Connor, MiKayla, Sierra, Trent, Shelby, Braxton, Olivia, Rylan, Maggie, Anden, Gaige, Idessa, Laney, Lindsay, Lucus, Kyler, Kaleb, Camden, Lilly and Zoey; a great great granddaughter, Braeleigh Grace Neely, and one on the way; a sister-in-law, Lois Neely of Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by two grandchildren, Ashley Lynn Dingle and Lee Edgar Keyes; five brothers, Dale, Stewart, Howard, Veryl, and Harold Neely; two sisters, Alice Neely Winwood and Elva Neely Massaro; several nieces and nephews; and his beloved Sheltie dog “Angel”.
Friends may call at the Gordon B. Garrett Funeral Home 303 N. Washington St. Titusville today (Monday) from 3:30 to 7:30 and attend the funeral service there on Tuesday at 11:00 AM with Rev. Randy Kightlinger, Venango VNA Hospice chaplain, officiating.
Interment will be in Jamsion Corners Cemetery.
The family asks that memorials be made to the Cherrytree Volunteer Fire Department, American Heart Association, or to the American Diabetes Association.