Donald Gene Neely

Published 1:13 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Donald Gene Neely, 75, passed away Saturday, July 9, 2016, after a short illness.  Born in Salem, West Virginia, Donald was the son of the late George Willard and Frances J. Tierney Neely.  He had made his home in Smithfield since 1989.  

A graduate of the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School, Don worked as a mechanical engineer and retired as a master shipbuilder from the shipyard after 41 years of service.  He was past-president of Chapter #217, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and past-president of the Mariner’s Club, and was a member of the Propeller Club.

Don was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother.  He will be sorely missed by his wife of 29 years, Barbara Johnson Neely; three sons, Jeffrey A Neely and his wife, Sheri, Brian D. Neely and his wife, Roberta, and Blane Christlieb; three grandchildren, Lexie, Carter and Max; brother, Joe Neely and his wife, Patricia; and a host of nieces, nephews and extended family.

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He will be remembered as an accomplished woodworker and craftsman, an avid baseball fan and avid gardener.  Don enjoyed travel and cruised to the French Polynesian Islands, Canada/Nova Scotia, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  He was a faithful member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. He frequently volunteered for projects with the Christian Outreach Program and community service organizations.  

Family and friends will gather Wednesday, July 13, 6:30 – 8 p.m. for visitation in Colonial Funeral Home, Carrollton.  A service celebrating Donald’s life will be held July 14, 2 p.m. in St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church with the Rev. David W. Perkins officiating.  Burial will follow at 3:30 p.m. in St. Luke’s Memorial Park, Smithfield.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made in Donald’s memory to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 45 Main St., Newport News, VA  23601.
Service arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Carrollton, VA.  Family and friends are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at