Ralph NealNovember 7, 1924 ~ October 8, 2017 (age 92)
Ralph Neal of Knoxville, TN passed away peacefully at his home on October 8, 2017. He was a retired accountant, businessman, real estate investeror, pastowner of the Star Point Restaurant at Dale Hollow Lakewith his wife Doris, and a WWII veteran. Ralph was born Nov. 7, 1924 in the Bloomington Community of Pickett Co., TN. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in July, 1943 and assigned to Company A,141st Regiment of the 36th Infantry Division. After basic training, Ralph married Doris Inez Copeland of Bloomington on Sept. 30, 1943, just days before shipping out for overseas. Ralph was wounded in combat at the Rapido River, Monte Cassino, Italy in January of 1944 and reported missing in action. He was captured by German forces and held as a Prisoner of War for 15 months. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 11, 1945 and returned to Byrdstown to be with Doris. He received the Good Conduct Medal, European, African, Middle East Campaign Medal, Infantry Combat Medal, Purple Heart, and Oak Leaf Cluster. Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, Foster A. and Perilda Clementine (Cope) Neal, brothers Hubert and Herbert Neal who died at birth, brother Frank Neal, sisters Estelle Coop, Paulie Amonett, and Tella Mae Matheny. He is survived by his wife, Doris (Copeland) Neal, sister Nellie Garrett of Muncie, IN, daughter Janie Neal of Knoxville, son Randy Neal and wife Michele of Knoxville, daughter Pamela Esther Neal Almeling of Knoxville, grandsons Jason Neal Almeling of Knoxville and Austin Neal Almeling of Troy, MO, and several nieces and nephews. Ralph was a member of the First Baptist Church in Knoxville for more than 60 years. He was a past member of the Civitan and Optimist volunteer service clubs, treasurer for the Tennessee School for the Deaf PTA, and served as past secretary and treasurer of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of the American Ex-POW veterans' service organization. Ralph was a beloved brother, husband, father and grandfather who worked hard all his life to serve his country and provide a better life for his family. He was well respected by all who knew him and dearly loved by his family who will miss him.
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 13, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. from the Wolf River United Baptist Church with burial in the Amonett Cemetery.
* The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at the Brown Funeral Chapel
* The body will lie in state at Wolf River United Baptist Church Friday morning from 8:00 A.M. until service time at 10:00 A.M.