Kenneth Neeley

Kenneth Neeley

May 28, 1935 - December 26, 2013

Kenneth Neeley

May 28, 1935 - December 26, 2013


Ken was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Kenneth Roosevelt Neeley and Maude Groberg Neeley. He had seven siblings, Lenore, Joanne, Marilyn, Susan, Christine, David, and Jonathan. He worked alongside his father in his electronic supply business and was only 18 when his father passed away, leaving his mother with 5 children at home, the youngest just 3 yrs old. Ken attended Irving Jr., East High School, and the University of Utah, graduating with a degree in finance and accounting, later passing the CPA exam. He served an honorable mission to Hawaii, returning in 1957.

He met and married Nola Jeanette Peterson in September 1958 while they were both attending the University of Utah. They graduated together in 1961, with two little boys in their arms, Robert & Scott. The young family settled in Salt Lake where Ken worked as an auditor for the US Government. Ken and Nola were blessed with six children-five sons – Robert, Scott, Brian, Matthew, and Nathan, and one daughter Nanette – born in Seville, Spain. Ken and Nola made close friendships as they traveled and lived in many places, including Seville, Spain.

After leaving Spain they settled in Monrovia, California where he worked for several years in the healthcare and import/export businesses. All 6 children graduated from Monrovia High School. Ken was involved in scouting, and he loved golfing and fishing. Their cabin on the Snake River in Idaho was a haven of fishing and family unity. The sorrow at losing his oldest son Robert in 1984 served to strengthen the family bonds with an increase of love and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Plan of Happiness.

Ken was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was a great man with deep spirituality, integrity, and love for all. He served faithfully and well in a number of callings including Scoutmaster, Ward Clerk, High Priest Quorum Leader, Bishop’s Counselor, Bishop, Patriarch, and Mission President to Chicago, IL. On moving to San Diego after his mission, he worked seven years as Recorder in the San Diego Temple, retiring in 2000. He and Nola then served two missions to Salt Lake City, with CES and a year on Temple Square during the winter Olympics.

Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA became home to the Neeleys in 2002. Welcomed with open arms, he loved it here. He especially loved golfing with his buddies in Laguna Woods, searching out his ancestry, serving in the Newport Beach Temple, and enjoying his grandchildren. In 2005, he suffered a subdural hematoma, requiring brain surgery, but he fought hard to gain lost skills and abilities. Gradually he lost much mental capacity but the resulting dementia was faced with grace and gratitude.

Ken resided for a short two months in Southwoods Lodge – a wonderful memory care neighborhood within Hillcrest, a retirement community in La Verne, where he was tenderly cared for by a team of caregivers and his son, Matthew. The staff cared for him as if he were their own father, brother, and friend. Love and tears encircled him as he left. We want to thank the staff at Southwoods Lodge, Saddleback Hospice, and especially Evergreen Hospice – who tenderly cared for him his last three days.

Ken came home on December 23, 2013 for one last Christmas with his dear Nola, his wife of 55 years. His family of 5 living children, 22 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter gathered to send him Home in love and tears. He died in the afternoon of December 26, 2013, surrounded by his five children. What a joyful reunion it must have been in heaven to embrace his father after 60 years, his mother after 36 years, and his son Robert who died in 1984. Heaven rejoiced when Kenneth Roosevelt Neeley, Jr. returned Home! Well done, thou good and faithful servant, may the good Lord bless and keep you ’til we meet again.

Please join the family for a memorial service on Saturday January 4th at 10 am at the Laguna Niguel Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 22851 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA. Ken will be buried next to his son, Robert, at Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills.

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10 responses to Kenneth Neeley

  1. karen neeley says:

    My sweet brother-in-law Kay truly followed in Christ’s footsteps. I remember several times talking with him at our cabin in the summer about family problems or concerns I may have had. His answers were always firmly based in gospel principles. I could tell he loved the Lord, his family (which included my family), and living close to the Spirit. The legacy he leaves is one his family will always be proud of!

  2. When he first arrived at the mission field we, Elder Bowcutt and myself got to go around in his car with his wonderful wife, a great mission mom, we were able to get to know them and they treated us like we had known them for ever, thank you for meer who live an exemplary life. Las Familias son Eternas.
    Love you pres Neeley and Sis Neeley

  3. Rory Bigelow says:

    Like many others I was one of President Neeley’s missionaries in Chicago. He had a profound impact on me. I’ll never forget him speaking about his call. He said he felt like perhaps serving for three years as a MP was a way to repay the Lord for all of the blessings he had received. On the heels of that statement he then taught that as he served the blessing kept coming a more rapid rate and that he was more in debt to God than ever before. Having him and Sister Neeley as my Mission President and wife is a blessing I’ll be trying to “repay” my whole life.

  4. I was 16 years old at the stake conference when he was sustained as a Patriarch. I already had my recommend so I went up to him after the meeting and asked for an appointment. He said he had to go to Salt Lake to be set apart, and to call him when he got back. I did and we set an appointment to meet at his home. How a brand new patriarch can know and say so much… Suffice it to say, that there is only one Way such specific encouragement could be provided. Patriarch Neeley was prepared, doing the Lord’s will and not his own, and I will be forever grateful. God touched many lives through this man (thanks in part to his wife!), and they will by now have touched many other lives, all around the world. Our God is Great!

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