John Thomas Neal (86) of Black Forest, Colorado passed away peacefully Friday evening, May 20, 2022, after a fall at his home resulted in a traumatic brain injury. John was with his family at Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado when he passed away.
John, also known as Tommy, was born April 1936 in West Fork, Arkansas to Samuel J. and Icie Jane (Carter) Neal. He grew up in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. He joined the Army in 1954, learned to be a stenographer, and traveled throughout Europe. Upon return, he attended college at Northeastern Oklahoma University and received a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and, later, a master’s degree in Mathematics and Astrodynamics. He married Phyllis Ann Wehnes on January 24, 1959. They lived in Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Oceanside, California; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Wewoka, Oklahoma before settling down in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1964. He taught mathematics and science at Mitchell High School before being recruited by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) as a programmer. John retired from NORAD in 1995 after 30 years.
John enjoyed many hobbies, such as pocket watch and clock collecting and repair. He was self-taught in Horology and was highly sought after to repair complex watches. He was a long time member of the National Watch and Clock Collectors. He liked to work with his hands and helped family members with construction projects and car repairs. He rebuilt and repaired many cars: Corvairs were his favorite, and he was a long time member of the Pikes Peak Corvair Club. John was also a pilot and flew small aircraft for several years.
He loved to travel with his family all over the United States. He was a superb conversationalist and was known to spend several hours talking with someone he just met at a garage sale, which was a favorite pastime.
He is survived by his three sons: Larry Neal of Colorado Springs, Colorado; David Neal (Sue Ellen) of Bridgeton, New Jersey; and Roger Neal (Anika) of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Samantha Neal, John F. Neal, Mallerie Moore, Zachary Neal, and five great grandchildren. He also leaves many special cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. He is preceded in death by his wife Phyllis, brother Harold, sister Wilma Hawkins, brother Howard, and his parents.
A loving father and husband, loved by all who knew him, he will be greatly missed.
A visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 27, 2022 at the Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd. A graveside service will be held at noon at Evergreen Cemetery and a luncheon reception will follow at the Olympian Plaza Reception and Event Center, 975 S. Union Blvd.