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Charles Neil "Chuck" Leary


1934 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Charles Neil "Chuck" Leary Obituary
Charles Neil (Chuck) Leary
July 23, 1934 - February 24, 2014
Charles N. Leary formerly of Keyser, WV passed at age 79.
To all who knew him in Keyser he was Neil Leary and was a star athlete on the Tornado's basketball team under Coach John Shelton. At 6'6" his senior year of 1952, he set school records for "Most Points Scored in a Game" and "Most Points Scored in a Season". This record would hold for ten years until 1962. Neil left Keyser after joining the Air Force in 1952.
In 1960 Neil went through the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Academy and upon completion began a long career in Law Enforcement. Over the span of forty plus years, Neil built an impressive resume including holding several Chief of Police positions serving in: Pasco, WA; Urbana, IL; Lee's Summit, MO; Lake Winnebago, MO; and Osage Beach, MO. Neil also served on the Montebello, CA police force as well as in South Lake Tahoe, CA where he was a charter member. In the path of career advancement, Neil took a position as Assistant Commissioner, Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control for the State of Oklahoma. In addition, Neil was honored when he was selected to serve as Senior Law Enforcement Advisor in assisting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the development and implementation of a National Highway Patrol Department.
After retirement from Law Enforcement, Neil took on his second career becoming a Professor/Adjunct Professor teaching Criminal Justice for several colleges both on campus and online until his passing. Neil received his Bachelor's Degree with a major in Law Enforcement Administration and minor in Psychology from Western Illinois University. He continued his education by earning a Master's of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Central Missouri State University. Neil lived his life and taught others with inspiration from his motto: "The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water and breeds reptiles of the mind" (Blake, Proverbs of Hell).
Neil was a Life Member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), a member of Alpha Omega (1974-75), and Phi Kappa Phi (1980). He was also honored to be a part of the South Lake Tahoe Olympics in 1960 and truly enjoyed personally getting to know many of the participating athletes.
Charles Neil (Chuck) Leary was the son of Charles E. (Cricket) & Margaret Leary, Keyser and has joined his sisters Bertha Deloris (Dotty) Leary/Gabbard and June Ellen Leary/Mantecon in his passing. He is survived by: daughter Kelli J. Leary/Cowin, her husband David, and two grandchildren Zack & Jodi of Coulee City, WA; his brother Lewis (Jack) Leary and wife Janine of San Diego, CA; his sister Hattie E. (Betty) Leary/Schimpf of Glenn Dale, MD; and his former wife Kathi J. Leary of Port Angeles, WA.
Neil was very close with his nephew Brian Leary, his wife Stephanie and their children Courtney, Brandon and Kyannah. Brian wrote upon his Uncle Neil's death: "He was a big influence on my decision to join the Army and specifically the Military Police Corp, carrying on the Law Enforcement background of the family. I've always strove to be the better man and do the right thing, as well as develop myself into a professional because of his mentorship. I love him and miss him already." This sentiment has been expressed by many others and Neil would be proud to know he had made a positive difference in the life of others, especially his loved ones.
Neil will be remembered by the hundreds of friends and police officers who served under his command and the many policies instituted as Chief of Police. His greatest joy was always his family, specifically his grandchildren who were the light of his life and making a difference in the lives of the students he taught. Before Neil's passing, he had expressed intent to donate to his local small town all volunteer fire department. The firefighters and paramedics over the course of a year and a half had come to his rescue on several occasions, scooping him up and transporting him to local hospitals. In honor of Neil, the family is requesting donations be sent in memory of Charles Neil Leary to the Coulee City Fire Department, PO Box 398, Coulee City, WA 99115. No formal funeral services will be held due to the fact most family and friends are spread out across the country. Instead, please take a moment to salute this fallen Irishman with a loving thought or happy memory to just let him know how very much he was loved and appreciated.
Published in Mineral Daily News-Tribune from Mar. 7 to Mar. 14, 2014
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