John ‘Arlen’ Neal |

John ‘Arlen’ Neal


A memorial service is 2 p.m. Friday at Carson Valley United Methodist Church for longtime Carson Valley resident John ‘Arlen’ Neal, 79, who died Jan. 21, 2011, at his home.

Born May 18, 1931, in Santa Barbara Calif. to John “Earl” and Annette (Haekle) Neal, his family moved to Reno where his love of baseball carried him through Reno High School and the University of Nevada, Reno.

He served in the U.S. Army, and on returning home, he played for the Reno Silversocks. He married Patricia Bates on July 31, 1954, and settled into his career and raising a family.

Mr. Neal worked for the USDA Soil Conversation Service for 35 years in California and Nevada and was well known by area ranchers and throughout the community.

In retirement, he provided valuable technical support for the Douglas County Ditch Advisory Committee as well as mapping the Valley ditch and slough systems for the many county improvement districts. Mr. Neal was appointed to the Gardnerville Town Water Co. board of directors in December 1996.

For 14 years he served all the board offices until his election as chairman of the board in January 2010. He was recently elected to a second term as chairman.

His life-long love of baseball led him to many years of coaching and teaching countless youth, especially the art of pitching. Some of his students went on to careers in professional ball.

In his spare time he enjoyed the outdoors, playing golf and spending time with his many friends and family.

He was a worship leader and visitation minister with his church, often sharing his faith at area care centers and convalescent homes.

Mr. Neal is survived by sons David (Nancy) Neal of Pittsburgh, Pa., John (Joni) Neal of Gardnerville and Dan (Sandina) Neal of Gillette, Wyo.; grandchildren Elisabeth (Chad) Soward, Amanda Neal, Jenn (Eric) Urias, Brittany (Cort) Petersen, Bridget Ann (Garrett) Rothenhoefer and Steven Neal; and great-grandchildren Inara Serenity Urias and Tynlee Kay Petersen. The family encourages donations to the American Cancer Society and the Carson Valley United Methodist Church.