The Obit For Al Neil

Albert R. (Al) Neil

Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from October 4 to October 5, 2012

Neil, Albert R. (Al), age 87, of Knoxville, passed away Saturday, September 29, at Ft. Sanders Regional Medical Center with his family beside him.

He was born August 18, 1925, in San Diego, California, and was a World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Navy, aboard both the USS Thornhill and the USS Albany.

He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Knoxville, and a member of the Logos Sunday School class. He was a member of Cherokee Lodge #728, Scottish Rite, Kerbela Shriners and Gideons International. Al also was a hospice volunteer at Baptist Hospital for several years. He played pro baseball for ten years in the minor-league systems of the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians ad New York Giants, and was a three-time league MVP. This included two years as a Knoxville Smoky where he was voted Most Valuable Player and most popular player. He was also a seven-time all-star. Al later coached Little League, Babe Ruth and Stan Musial Leagues at Badgett Field for 12 years. In 2009, Al was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame for his baseball accomplishments and contributions to local youth sports over the years. He was an account executive for Sentry Insurance for 35 years.

Al was preceded in death by his parents Richard Arthur Neil and Ellen Bennett Neil, and brothers Russell Ray, Arthur James, and Edwin Bennett Neil, all from San Diego.

Al is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years, Jean Bailey Neil, originally from Strawberry Plains, TN, and his children; James and Carol Neil Raxter, Scott Richard Neil, and Russell Bailey and Lisa Neil. Al is also survived by his grandsons and their families; Sr. Airman James Neil and Victoria Raxter (Zach), Elliott Bailey Raxter, Scott Richard, II and Rebekah Neil (Scotty), and Issac Allen Neil. Uncle Al is also survived by nephews and nieces whom he dearly loved.