Jack Earl Neal|
1940 ~ 2014
Dr. Jack, 73, passed away peacefully at home with his wife of 48 years by his side on April 15th, after a courageous battle with colon cancer.
The oldest of four, he was born in Livingston, Montana, to Vivian and the late Clifford Neal. He attended Sherwood High School in Maryland and received a B.S. Biology and a commission as an infantry lieutenant at Furman University in Greeneville, South Carolina. He then chose a deferment to attend the University Of Maryland School Of Dentistry in Baltimore, Maryland. Following his graduation from dental school, Dr. Jack served as a Captain in the Army Dental Corps as a general dentist at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. After completing his four years of service, Dr. Jack entered the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Upon completion of his residency, close friends encouraged him to come to the Pacific Northwest, as they needed, "an oral surgeon on the Eastside". After a quick visit on a beautiful May weekend, the family moved to Seattle in 1973 and Dr. Jack opened an oral surgery practice in Kirkland that still continues to thrive today.
Dr. Jack practiced oral surgery in Kirkland and Seattle for over 40 years. His compassionate care, gentle touch and bedside manner were the attributes his patients' loved most of all. His longevity in the community allowed him to care for multiple generations of families. Over the years, his entire family has worked or continues to work in his business in some capacity. Including his oldest son, Craig, who ultimately chose to follow in his father's footsteps and joined his practice in 2000, providing the opportunity to have the family business continue for another generation carrying on the proud tradition he created. Dr. Jack loved his staff and considered them an extension of his family.
Throughout his practice career, Dr. Jack has served his specialty and dentistry in numerous capacities. He was the president of both the Washington State Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Western Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He was a delegate to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, a member of the Anesthesia Committee, and Chairman of the Practice Management Committee for many years. He had been active in the Seattle and King County Dental Society and the Washington State Dental Association serving on various committees. In addition to his professional activities, Dr. Jack was also involved in his community. He served as a provider for both the Washington State Dental Association Access Program and the Donated Dental Services Program and Medical Teams International. Dr. Jack has been a member of the Board of Trustees at University Preparatory Academy, as well as the Bertschi School. He was active in a wide range of community affairs and served on several boards: Washington Dental Service, Washington Physicians Health Program, and the Physicians and Dentist Credit Bureau.
Golfing was a great passion for Dr. Jack and he was a long-time member of Broadmoor Golf Club where he especially loved his Sunday round with the guys and the wonderful staff. He ended up with so many golf shirts, that there would be no way to wear them all during a typical Seattle golf season.
Most of all, family was of the utmost importance to Dr. Jack and nothing brought him more joy than being with his loved ones. He is survived by his wife, Bette, their four children and spouses; Craig (Michelle), Lisa (Fiore), Katey (Levi), and Joseph and five grandchildren, Collin, Fiona, Calleia, Fiore and Nalani. His house remains a focal point for family gatherings and all are present for birthdays, holidays and special occasions.
There will be a wake to celebrate his life and to share stories on Tuesday April 22, from 2pm-5pm & 7pm-9:30pm at Bleitz Funeral Home, 316 Florentia Street, Seattle, WA 98109. There will be a Funeral Mass, 11:00am, Wednesday April 23th at St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to The First Tee of Greater Seattle.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Published in The Seattle Times from Apr. 19 to Apr. 20, 2014