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Jack C Neal

September 27, 1932 ~ March 2, 2017 (age 84)

Jack C. Neal, age 84, died peacefully on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017. He was surrounded by his loving wife, family, and friends at the Samaritan Keep Home in Watertown, NY.  Jack was born on Sept. 27, 1932 in Moriah, NY to Howard D. Neal and Vera M. (Smith) Neal of Mineville, NY.  He graduated from Watertown (NY) HS, class of 1950. Jack then studied at the University of Michigan with an athletic scholarship running track and was a member of the U of M chapter of Sigma Delta Chi. Postponing his graduation in 1955 he enlisted in the U.S. Army. In January of 1956, Jack married his long time love, Mary Ellen Potter in Sandy Creek, NY. Shortly after, Jack was assigned to the U.S. Army Adjutant General/Quartermaster School in Lenggries, W. Germany.  After they returned to the states Jack resumed his studies at the University of Michigan and earned a Master of Arts degree in 1961. Soon after, Jack and his family relocated to the Washington DC area where he began his career in journalism. There he worked as a correspondent with the Griffin-Larrabee News Bureau, The Allen-Scott Report, and appeared on Meet the Press. After leaving the Press Gallery he worked for the American Trucking Association as the Chief of Press Relations and the National Automobile Dealers Association as the Executive Director of Communications. He was a PR information officer for FEMA and the Montgomery County Parks Department where he worked on the Maryland National-Capital Park and Planning Commission focusing mostly on the building of the Maryland SoccerPlex. For over 20 years, Jack taught both full and part time as a professor of Journalism and Public Relations at the American University Business School. In the mid 80s he taught full time and became the Director of the AU PR Graduate Program. He continued teaching part time at AU through the early 90s. 

Jack volunteered in many ways to give back to his community and fulfill his passion for the outdoors. Jack coached track for the Forest Knolls Boys Club and assisted in forming the Potomac Valley Search & Rescue Group. He was an active member of the National Ski Patrol for over 20 years - earning a National Appointment Number. Jack loved volunteering his first aide skills for the summer and winter Special Olympics. After retiring in 2000, Jack's love for the mountains took he and his wife north to Lake Placid, NY and in the summer to their cottage on Sandy Pond, NY. Jack's love for music, books, painting, and his passion for the outdoors will always live on in his children and grandchildren. Jack is survived by his loving wife of 61 years Mary Ellen (Potter) and their 5 children: David N. Neal (Ronna), Erika N. Armstrong, Karen V. Kohn (Josh), Marla J. Johnson (Stephen), Linda E. Koester (Edward). 10 grandchildren: Niles (Alyssa), Luke (Chelsey), Sara, Benjamin, Grace, Christine, Spencer, Stephen, Sydney and Addyson. 4 great grandchildren: Owen, Anduin, Bruce and Jack. No funeral service will be held. His family and friends will gather this summer to celebrate Jack's life. In lieu of flowers the family asks for memorials to be made to the Wisp National Ski Patrol and the Alzheimer's Association.

Each time we look at a mountain or step foot on a trail we will feel his presence in our hearts and hear his words of encouragement. Arrangements are with Summerville Funeral Home, Sandy Creek, NY


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