In Memory

Jimmy Neel - Class Of 1949 VIEW PROFILE

Jimmy Neel


Obituary for James (Jim) H. Neel Sr.

James H. (Jim) Neel, Sr., age 86, died peacefully at his Houston home on January 17, 2018. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Jim leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Marion Sowell Neel, a graduate from Palestine High 1953. 

Jim was a 1949 graduate of Timpson High School. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a Sergeant during the Korean War and was a member of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Select Crew from 1950-54 flying 210 missions. He was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Mechanical Engineering degree. He built rice mills in Latin America and after was acting assistant manager of Uncle Ben’s and Blue Ribbon Rice Mills in Houston. He held parboiled patents. The largest mill was in Guatemala City and is still operating today. Jim was also involved in the construction and design of oil and gas rigs worldwide for 46 years.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at Palestine City Cemetery under the direction of Herrington / Land of Memory Funeral Home in Palestine (903)731-4444. Memorial services in Houston to be announced at a later date. 
Please send condolences to or by phone (713)774-0377.  
Memorials may be made to James H. Neel (Jim) and Marion Sowell Neel (UT Bachelor of Music 1956) UT Scholarship Fund, mailed to The University of Texas, PO Box 7458, Austin, TX 78713-7438 or go to online and click on make a gift to U.T.


  Post Comment

01/23/18 07:47 PM #1    

Ralph Corry (1966)

From Loy Dean McGowan-Class of 1956.

Ralph…  I didn't know how to post this to the website, so I am sending it to you.


In memory of Jim Neel;


In 1954, Jim Neel's aunt lived in Timpson and asked Jim (she called him Jimmy) by letter if he would show me around the University of Texas campus.  He was finishing his degree there and I had expressed an interest in the school.


I borrowed the only car in our family, a 1946 Chevy and drove to Austin.  Jim took a whole afternoon to show me around the campus and walked me to the registrar's office where I picked up an application.  He also convinced me that, if I wanted to go to UT, I could make it happen.  I was working at Taylor Hardware in Timpson at the time for $12 per week.  Jim was a major influence on my motivation for getting that college degree, and in turn, trying to be helpful to others.


Today I serve on the board of the School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas.  Many times, when I am working with a student or student group on the campus here, I think of Jim and his positive attitude he displayed for me and hope I can display some of that same influence.


A lot of people will miss Jim Neel.



Dean McGowan – Timpson Class of 1956


Dean McGowan

Senior Vice President – Wealth Management

UBS Financial Services, Inc.

  Post Comment


Click here to see Jimmy's last Profile entry.