December 3, 1944 ~ May 12, 2018
L.M., Lewis Milton Neal Jr., was born to Edna Mae and Lewis Neal in Caldwell, Kansas, on December 3, 1941. He passed on May 12, 2018, in Caldwell, Kansas, at the age of 76. He married Linda Dale Hines in Caldwell on December 16, 1967. He is preceded in death by his parents and by his wife Linda. He is survived by son Lance and his wife Dana, and granddaughters Abigail and Megan of Kansas City, Kansas, by his sister Colleen Massey of Milan, Illinois, and by twin brothers Mike of Lawrence, Kansas, and Mark of Caldwell, Kansas. L.M. and Linda operated a successful farm and ranch in Oklahoma and Kansas around Caldwell for nearly fifty years.
L.M. spent his first seven years of life on a farm two miles north and one mile east of Caldwell. He attended Caldwell Elementary School through the third grade. In 1949, the Neal family moved to a farm two miles east and two miles south of Renfro, Oklahoma. L.M. and his little sister Colleen attended a one room country school named Eureka for the next five years. In 1955, the family moved to the homestead farm two miles north and one quarter of a mile east of Caldwell. L.M. rejoined the C.H.S. class of 1959, for the start of his freshman year. His high school years were filled with sports, school activities, hunting, and a love for fine cars. He was a member of the Blue Angels Car Club of Caldwell. He developed many treasured life-long friends at C.H.S. and graduated with the class of 1959.
In the fall of 1959, L.M. entered the University of Kansas and pledged the A.K.L. fraternity. He also attended Southwestern College and Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma. L.M. joined the Kansas Air National Guard in 1964 and completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He remained a Guard member serving as a “weekend warrior” for the next six years. In the late 1960’s, L.M. started to build his farming operation and on December 16, 1967, he married Linda Dale Hines of Caldwell. In 1968, L.M. and the Kansas Air National Guard Unit were sent for a year of duty in South Korea as a result of world tensions created by the Pueblo Incident. He returned to the farm in 1969 and son Lance was born on April 1, 1970. L.M., Linda, and Lance, resided at their home on the east edge of Caldwell and began to build their agricultural operation which included Registered Angus cattle with wheat being the primary crop.
L.M. held leadership positions in the Caldwell agriculture community. He served several officer positions in the Chisholm Trail Angus Association and served as President of the Caldwell Farmers Coop Board. L.M. and Linda were longtime season ticket holders for KU sports and he participated in the many hunting and fishing opportunities around Caldwell. His greatest joy was talking about his granddaughters. Family sporting activities and time spent with their life-long Caldwell friends provided L.M. with many fond memories. L.M. and Linda began to transition the farm operation over to the Jimmy and Jennifer Brown family of rural Caldwell in the last few years. That relationship grew in to an extended source of local support for L.M. as his health declined. L.M. lost his best friend when his wife Linda passed in July of 2015. He spent his last weeks of life in the Caldwell Hospital Extended Care Unit under the watchful care of their excellent medical staff with particular appreciation for the support of Mandy Struble.
L.M. lived a long and full life. He served his country, was passionate about a meaningful life work, enjoyed nearly fifty years of marriage, had a special relationship with his son Lance, and treasured the future potential of two caring granddaughters. He came to reflect on these blessings as time slipped away. He will be missed.
A graveside service will be held 10:00 a.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Caldwell City Cemetery, Caldwell, Kansas.
Memorials may be given in memory of L.M. to the Caldwell Historical Society for the Back Wall Project and may be left in care of the mortuary.
Dear Lance and Family,
Gayla - 05/12/2018
I am so sorry for your loss, Lance. I always thought so much of your dad. When I was growing up, I looked up to your parents, and your mom was like my idol. She was perfect, and they made a perfect couple together. I treasure my memories of them.
You and your family have my thoughts and prayers. Bless you all.