NEELY, John Karen Lt. Col. (Ret.) John "Jake" K. Neely, passed away peacefully July 3, 2017 at Heartland Health Care in Austin, TX. He was born July 12, 1931 along with his twin brother Wilson Keven, in James, Mississippi, to Eugene Garland and Effie Irene (Vernon) Neely. He never met a stranger, loved life, and was always laughing and joking with family and friends. John served his Country honorably and nobly in the USAF including 1 tour in Vietnam. He enlisted in the USAF on October 6, 1951. He applied for Officers Training School in February 1952 and completed the Basic Single Engine Jet Pilot School at Foster AFB in Victoria, TX, June 1953. His successful military career moved him and his family many times from Mississippi, South Carolina, Japan, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, and finally Austin, TX where he retired in May 1979. John loved flying the F100 and F104 and received many awards and honors including: The Silver Star, The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Medal, The Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Upon his retirement in Austin, John began his new career as a real estate appraiser. John was preceded in death by his parents and eight siblings. He is survived by his devoted wife, Lisa of 60 years; sons Keven Neely of Bermuda and Kyle (Jeanine) Neely of Round Rock, TX; and grandfather to Ryan and Andrew Neely. John will be buried in Yazoo City, MS. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice or the "Wounded Warrior Project".
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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jul. 9, 2017.