February 21, 1929 - June 9, 2019
Born in Gunter, Texas
Resided in Aromas, California
His story began on February 21, 1929 in Gunter, Texas, born to John and Sarah Neal, the youngest of 5 children. Very soon after he was born, the family moved to Heber Springs, Arkansas, his childhood home. Billy was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. After actively serving in the Korean War, he moved to California. He retired from the Department of Corrections after 30 years, ending his career as Program Administrator at Soledad State Prison. After retirement, Bill became interested in auto mechanics. He owned and operated a mobile auto repair business, The Auto Doc. He and his longtime friend, Dave Gage, became partners in All City Emissions. He volunteered for over 10 years on the Monterey County Sheriffs Motorcycle Squad.
Bill married the love of his life, Helen (Mello) Neal, in 1962. In 1972, they moved to Prunedale. Helen stood by his side, a dedicated and loving wife for 57 years. Together, they raised their only daughter, Kim (Neal) Dawes. He is survived by his wife, Helen, his daughter and son-in-law, Kim (Neal) and Bryan Dawes, his grandchildren, Joshua Wayne Dawes, Matthew Raymond Dawes, and Danielle Rose Dawes, all of Aromas. He was a beloved, respected, and dedicated husband, father, grandfather and friend. So many have been blessed by the part he played in their journey and will miss him dearly.
There will be a Celebration of Bill’s life on Friday, June 14 at 10:00 am at Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel, 41 W. San Luis Street, Salinas, CA 93901.
Burial to follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 18200 Damian, Prunedale, CA 93907.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you support their Walk to End Alzheimer’s team, Feathers for Hope (http://act.alz.org/goto/FeathersforHope), the American Heart Association, or the American Cancer Society in his honor.
Salinas, California 93901
Salinas, CA US 93907
Salinas, CA US 93901