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Idaho Enterprise

William "Bill" Elton Neal

William “Bill” Elton Neal, courageously left his mortal life to be with his loving eternal companion, Marie, on September 6, 2023, Malad City, Idaho.

Bill was born January 20, 1934 to Jesse William Neal and Virginia Ireta Vroman Neal in Minidoka, Idaho. Bill was their only child. Jesse and Virginia divorced when Bill was 2 years old. Times were hard for the young parents to raise a little boy, so Bill was welcomed into his grandparents’ home. His grandparents were William Job and Maria Bradshaw Neal of Stone Idaho. They had a small home with plenty of chores, and now that their family was grown and out of the house, it would be a blessing for Bill to come live with them. Bill attended elementary school in Stone, Idaho, one year of high School in American Falls, Idaho, while living with his Uncle Rulon Neal, and graduated from Bear River High School in 1952.

After high school, Bill met the girl of his dreams, Arvilla Marie Evans, and they became eternal companions on May 25, 1954, in the Logan Temple.

The very next day, Bill reported to the US Marine Corp and was stationed at Camp Pendleton California for cold weather training. He was stationed at Bridge Port, California.

Their family was blessed with the birth of their first child, Ray Eugene, on May 14, 1955.

Bill received his discharge from the Marine Corp. and the family moved to Ogden, Utah where a darling little girl, Ireta Marie, arrived on May 28, 1957. Work took Bill and Marie and the small family to Meza, Arizona where their second son, Max Drew, was born October 30, 1959. The need to be closer to family called, and the family moved to Layton, Utah. A third son, Clair Douglas, was born May 4, 1961, and the Neal’s nest was complete. Adventures called, and the family moved to Tremonton, Utah where Bill worked for the Ogden City Bus Lines and Thiokol Corporation. In 1966, Bill accepted a job at Hunter Point Naval Shipyards in San Francisco, California. He was a fiberglass specialist. The family settled in the Santa Rosa area. Many great lifelong friendships were made during those years in California. As results from an accident at the shipyards, Bill's lungs were damaged—causing him to retire in 1973. While reminiscing one day, Bill said, “Moving my family back to Malad was the best thing I ever did.” Bill and Marie got busy and involved with the kids and community activities. Bill had a longing for law enforcement and became an Oneida County Sheriff Deputy. Bill and Marie were instrumental in creating the Oneida County Search and Rescue Organization and the Emergency Medical Service in Oneida County. Bill became Oneida County Sheriff where he served for 5 years.

Bill and Marie spent their golden years between Malad, Idaho and Quartz Site, Arizona. They loved going south for the winter. Bill became an expert and maneuvering his bright yellow four-wheeler through the desert.

Bill and Marie were married for 67 years. He was devoted to her and was at her side until she passed at their home, as she wished, on June 1, 2021. We know that Mom and Dad are in each other’s arms and that they are well.

Bill was proceeded in death by his grandparents, William Job and Maria Bradshaw Neal on his father side, Elton Ray and Bessie Vroman on his mother’s side, his parents, Jesse Neal and Virginia Vroman, his lovely and devoted eternal companion, Arvilla Marie Evans Neal, and eldest son, Ray Eugene Neal. Bill is survived by Eugene’s (deceased) family (2 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren), Ireta’s family (5 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild) Max and Rhonda (2 grandchildren), Clair and Machelle (4 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and 2 expected great-grandchildren). Bill is also survived by a very special sister, Sherril Murray and her husband Mike Murray of Lakeport, California.

A Funeral Service was held Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at Horsley Funeral Home 132 West 300 North, Malad City, Idaho.

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