Lester S. Neal, Jr. 83, of Oil City, and formerly of Elkins, West Virginia unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, November 17, 2019 at UPMC Northwest in Seneca, following complications from a recent fall at his home.
He was born November 25, 1935 in Oil City to the late Lester S. Neal, Sr. and Dorthea (Heckathorn) Neal.
He was married to C. Jean Miller on March 9, 1963 at Christ Lutheran Church. They celebrated 56 years of marriage. In addition to his wife, Jean, he is also survived by three daughters: Teresa “Terri” Channell of Hedgesville, West Virginia, Tamela “Tammi” Aidt and her husband Scot of Prairieville, Louisiana, and Tricia “Trish” Scott and her husband Garey of Oil City; eight grandchildren: Stacie Ellenbecker and husband Andy of Hedgesville, West Virginia, Josef Aidt and his girlfriend Kaylie Carlino of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jasen Aidt of Dallas, Texas, Mik Aidt and wife Ashlyn of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Alec Aidt of Prairieville, Louisiana, and SaVanha, Payten, and Konor Scott of Oil City, PA; and a great-granddaughter, Kaitlynn Marie Ellenbecker.
Lester is also survived by two brothers, Clyde Neal and wife Bert, and Fred Neal; a sister, Laura Carson and husband Paul; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Roger Channell; a brother, John Neal; and a sister, Darlene Wilson.
He was a 1954 graduate of Cranberry High School.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 through 1960. He received his basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and was later stationed in Cleveland, Ohio. After his two years of active duty he continued his service in the Army reserves until his honorable discharge in 1964.
He was a former member of the Oil City Jaycees Club; and was the recipient of an honorary business award given by Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia. Lester was an avid bowler, and a dedicated fan at his family's sporting events. He enjoyed collecting coins, baseball cards, and watching sports on television, especially the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lester was a loyal and active member of Christ Lutheran Church in Oil City, where he served on several church committees.
Lester was employed by JC Penney for forty-two years. He began as a stock boy at the Oil City store and worked his way up to management. After several moves throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia he retired in 1999 as the manager for the JC Penney Catalog Store in Elkins, West Virginia.
Friends will be received Wednesday (Nov. 20th) from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Hile-Best Funeral Home, 2781 Rte. 257 in Seneca, Cranberry Township. Additional visitation will be held Thursday (Nov. 21st) from 9 – 10:45 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, 1029 Grandview Road in Oil City, where the funeral service will immediately follow beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday with Rev. David Oester, officiating. Following the service, military honors will be accorded at the church by the V.E.T.S. Honor Guard. Private interment will follow in Sunset Hill Memorial Gardens in Cranberry.
Memorial contributions may be made to Christ Lutheran Church, 1029 Grandview Road, Oil City, PA 16301.
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