Utter-McKinley San Fernando Mission Mortuary
11071 Columbus Avenue
Mission Hills, CA 91345
(818) 361-4751
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Neal Hamel

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Neal Hamel Obituary

Neal passed away at home on April 15, 2013. He was born in 1921 in Abbotsford, Wisconsin.

Neal is survived by his wife, Ann and children Marcia Politi (Greg), Neal, Halcyon, Ian, Lois Irene, Louis and Jennie. He has four grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers, Lyle of Waverly, West Virginia and Paul of Berrien Springs, Michigan.

After graduating from Loma Linda Medical School and taking residencies at the University of Pennsylvania and Olive View Medical Center in Sylmar, he practiced medicine as a cardiothoracic surgeon in the San Fernando Valley for over forty years. He practiced primarily at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, where he served as Chief of Medical Staff in 1976, St. Joseph's Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital and Olive View Medical Center. He was part of a team that performed the first open heart surgery in the San Fernando Valley and was a founding member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Neal also was a veteran and served in the Army. He was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1949. He was also a very accomplished private pilot and was a flight doctor for the FAA. He flew many thousands of hours including flights to Costa Rica, Mexico, Baja California, Alaska, British Columbia and cross country flights on many occasions. He was a charter member of the Association of Flying Physicians and served as president. He also spent time as a volunteer surgeon and instructor for Project Hope in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Ecuador.

He enjoyed fishing and pheasant and duck hunting with his faithful black lab.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2013, 11:00 a.m., at Utter McKinley San Fernando Mission Mortuary in Mission Hills followed by a reception at home. UTTER McKINLEY SAN FERNANDO MISSION MORTUARY
Directors (818) 361-4751
Published in Los Angeles Daily News from Apr. 27 to Apr. 29, 2013
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