Harlan Ray Neal was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa to Ray Victor & Minnie Josephine (Lindquist) Neal on January 24, 1937. Harlan went to be with Jesus on June 9, 2021 surrounded by family.
Harlan’s family settled in Jefferson, Oregon in 1947. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1955 and moved to Albany in 1957. Harlan married his love, Inez, in October, 1957. They later adopted two children, Lori Ann in 1967 and Robert Ray (now deceased) in 1970.
Harlan began working in his trade of bricklaying immediately after graduating from high school, moving from apprentice to foreman in record time, becoming superintendent for Bromley Masonry in 1988. Harlan received many accolades for his work, among them the “Hammurabi Meritorious Achievement in Building Design and Craftsmanship” in 1989, and the “Special Excellence in Performance of His Work” by the American Institute of Architects in 1972.
Harlan was drafted in 1959 and subsequently stationed at Fort Wainwright, AK in April of 1960 until being discharged from active duty in April of 1962. Harlan excelled with a rifle, competing for the Army on the rifle team for two years. After being discharged from active duty, Harlan served four additional years in the Army Reserve, achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class (E-7) and was discharged in 1966.
Harlan retired in 2002. He and Inez did some traveling and then he became involved in creating the Linn County Veteran’s Memorial at the age of 68. Harlan donated countless hours of planning, bricklaying and other labor over the past 16 years, as recently as Memorial Day 2021. His labor of love. He was the Linn County Veteran of the Year in 2013.
Harlan was heavily involved in HAM radio for 50 years, along with competitive trap shooting. He was also involved in competitive power lifting for many years.
Harlan was an American patriot. A hardworking, upstanding, honest, man of faith that lived for his family. His wife, daughter, grandsons, and great-grandchildren were his world. He took the responsibility of being a husband, daddy, papa, and Gpop very seriously. Our hero.
Harlan is survived by his wife of 63 years, Inez; his daughter, Lori Ann (Russ) Norton, his grandsons AJ (Sharaya) and Jacob (Aleha) Norton; and his great grandchildren Aiden, Austin, Elsa, Asher, Londyn and Nora. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brother, Randall Joseph Neal.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, at the Linn County Veteran’s Memorial at Timber Linn Park (900 Price Rd. SE, Albany) followed by light refreshments and time together at Eastside Christian Church (1910 Grand Prairie Rd. SE, Albany).
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Linn County Veteran’s Memorial at PO Box 2739, Albany OR 97322. And, hug your family tight!
AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home is handling the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com)
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