Rev. Ernest Vavel Byron Neil was born on the British Island of Jamaica, West Indies on August 30, 1936. He was the first born son of the late Byron and Sylvia Neil. Ernest attended Greenwich Town Elementary School, Crandall High School and Kingston Technical School of Kingston, Jamaica. At the young age of 19 years old, he migrated to the United States of America. In 1960, he chose to enlist in the U.S. Army and served for 21 years. He was deployed to Vietnam on two occasions and received numerous meritorious awards and citations: The Good Conduct Medal w/6th Awards, The Vietnam Service Medal w/3 Bronze Service, The Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/ Palm, The Vietnam Campaign w/60 Device, and The Meritorious Unit Citation w/2d Awards. Ernest rose to rank of Sergeant First Class and retired in April of 1981. Ernest, a man of faith and after his retirement he graduated from the Institute of Biblical Studies and served as an Associated Minister at the Independent Missionary Baptist Church. He is survived by his loving, faithful and dutiful wife Lutricia, who has been at his side for the last 20 years. He is also survived by his children, Joan, Ernest Jr., Michael (Kimberley), Tiawanna (Ricardo); a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren; sisters Gloria, Yvonne, Sonia, Sheila and Patricia; brothers Norman and Anthony; stepdaughters, Melinda (Rev. Stan) Guillory, Patricia (Randall) Ervin; Janice and Loretta Williams all from Colorado Springs, stepson Gary (Erma) Williams of Colorado Springs; two loving sisters-in-law, Arie Williams and Erlene Butler of Tampa, Florida; and godson Ezra Guillory of Colorado Springs. Visitation 4:00PM - 7:00PM Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at The Springs Funeral Services 3115 E. Platte Ave. Colorado Springs, CO. Funeral Service 10:00AM, Thursday, February 7, 2013 at Friendship Baptist Church 633 E. Dale Street Colorado Springs, CO. Graveside Service 2:15PM Thursday, February 7, 2013 at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Staging Area â€œCâ€ 3698 S. Sheridan Blvd. Denver, CO.
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The Springs Funeral Services
3115 East Platte Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Published in The Gazette on Feb. 5, 2013