After a 5-year battle with colon cancer Bobby G. Neale, of Bellevue, Wash., passed peacefully into the arms of his savior Jesus Christ on Oct. 8, 2018.
Bobby was born June 25, 1960 in Huntsville, Ark., the last of four children born to Louie and Anna Belle Neale. The family moved to Azwell, Wash. in 1965 where he attended the Pateros School. He spent his teen years working in the apple orchard during summer vacation. In 1978, Bobby graduated from Pateros High School as the valedictorian of his class. Three weeks later on his 18th birthday he entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. His mother vividly remembers the plane departed Spokane at 1:20 p.m., the exact time he was born 18 years earlier. Though it was a rigorous course in academics and military training, he persevered and graduated June 2, 1982, four years exactly after graduating high school. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. His first assignment was flying helicopters, which he loved. After a year he moved on to piloting C141’s transporting troops and supplies to bases all over the world, including Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He was stationed many years at McChord AFB, Tacoma, Wash. When he completed his military service he had reached the rank of Captain. He was proud of his military service and was a proud American patriot to the end. After leaving the service he earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science.
Bobby enjoyed playing and watching football, basketball and golf. Another pastime was playing horseshoes. After moving to Bellevue he was disappointed to discover the lack of horseshoe facilities in the local parks. He also loved going to yard sales, on walks, and reading, enjoying numerous genres, and he rarely met a dog he didn’t like. He was extremely kind hearted and continually thinking of others. He always brought back gifts from the many countries he flew to and he loved to purchase things from yard sales or thrift stores that he knew one of the family would enjoy. He was a very intelligent person and liked to challenge his mind by doing crossword puzzles, playing chess with a worthy opponent, or engaging in a lively debate.
Bobby was a believer in Jesus from his youth and in his own words said, “I made poor choices at times and went my own way, but God was always faithful to pursue me and bring me back to his side”. While living in University Park, Wash. for many years, he served in various ministries at First Baptist Church in Lakewood.
Bobby had four children and though his contact with them at times was limited, his love and concern for them never wavered. He prayed for them consistently and always spoke positively about them. He was extremely proud when his oldest son followed in his footsteps and joined the air force.
Bobby is survived by his daughter, Sara Neale of Oakland, Calif.; son, Cody Neale (Carina), McChord AFB, Tacoma; daughter, Leah Neale and son, Jacob Neale, Santee, Calif.; stepchildren, Amity, Luke and Lindsey; parents, Louie and Anna Belle Neale, Pateros, Wash.; brother, Roger Neale (Dawn), Bellingham, Wash.; sister, Charlotte Dauber (Richard), Warden, Wash.; sister-in-law, Susan Neale, Lake Stevens, Wash.; numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. His grand niece and nephew, Tatianna and Brian, held a special place in his heart.
He was preceded in death by his oldest brother, Donald Neale.
A celebration was Oct. 16, 2018. He was interred with full military honors Oct. 17, 2018 at Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent, Wash.