Our gentle always kind family patriarch, James P. Neeley, Jr. M.D.,(usually called Jim or Jimmie) passed away peacefully on November 30, 2022. He fulfilled his earthly sojourn valiantly at age 96.
He was blessed with a strong body, a brilliant mind, and a pure heart and was told that the future course in his life would be marked so clearly that he would not falter nor turn right or left. And thus it was.
Born in Salt Lake City to James Patton Neeley and Stella Cox on March 16, 1926, he was the second of two sons, adored and instilled with lofty goals and high-expectations.
At Forest Elementary, Irving Jr., and South High he excelled in academics, athletics, and student government. Always well liked with his pleasant personality and engaging smile, he was nevertheless fiercely competitive in sports.He never lost in his 440 event in track, won numerous tennis trophies, and his high school football and basketball teams won championships. He lettered in track, tennis, football, and basketball.
His college education at the University of Utah was interrupted by WorldWar2. He served in the United States Air Force until the end of the war when he was given the choice of flight training or honorable discharge. He chose the latter so he could serve a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His call was to Hawaii.
When resuming his studies at the “U” he introduced himself to Betty Joan Funk and called her by name. They dated all year & graduated together with the class of 1951. Then he went to Baltimore to attend medical school at the University of Maryland, and she stayed in Salt Lake City to teach at Ensign Elementary. Since long distance calls were expensive they wrote letters to keep in touch. Home in SLC for Christmas he gave her his Delta Phi & Sigma Chi pins and their pinning was announced in the Salt Lake papers. This put an end to her dating other young men. They were married and eternally sealed by Harold B. Lee in the Salt Lake Temple on August 14, 1952. She taught 2nd grade in Baltimore while he finished up his M.D.degree.
He accepted an internship at the Salt Lake County hospital. By then Betty was expecting their 4th child, so her teaching career ended and she became a stay-at-home mom.
In 1956 he entered a General Surgery residency in the Salt Lake hospitals which he completed in 1961. He joined the Budge Clinic in Logan, Utah as one of many respected physicians. His move with his ever expanding family to Logan provided an idillic life for his 7 living children—even to and including their enrollment at Utah State University. He served in numerous Church, community, and professional assignments. He and Betty instilled in the hearts of their children a desire to stay on the covenant path which each one has done.
He practiced general surgery for 34 years saving lives, mending bodies, and relieving pain. He was respected, loved and admired by those with whom he worked and served. Three weeks after retirement he was serving an 18 month medical mission on Temple Square with Betty, and in 1992 they served another medical mission in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. They served 13 1/2 years as officiators in the Logan Temple. His family wishes to thank all the medical personnel who cared for him during his month long illness, especially his friend and colleague internist Michael Stones, M.D.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Richard, his infant son Mark, and a stillborn great-grandson James. He is survived by Betty and his sons and daughters: Pat and Linda Neeley of Idaho Falls; Mike and Lisa Neeley of Grapevine, Texas; Christine and Terrell Young of Provo, Utah; Nan and Dan Schmidt of Logan; Steve and Roxey Neeley of Providence, Utah; Angela and Alan Edwards of Logan; and Amy and Bart Byerly of Walpole, Massachusetts. He is also survived by a posterity of 36 grandchildren and their 28 spouses, 80 great-grandchildren and a beloved nephew, Richard.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, December 10, 2022 in the Lundstrom Park Ward building at 1260 North 1600 East in Logan. Viewing from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM before the funeral.
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