Mike Neely died last week. I’m not sure about the date or just how he died. I’m told his health had not been good in recent years. I spoke with his mother, Myra, tonight and she said Mike and his family had visited in September. His death was “not real” to her yet.
Mike lived next door and we were best buds all through grade school. His family moved to California about the time we were starting high school. I think he did a couple of years of junior college before enlisting in the air force and serving in Thailand. After his discharge he moved back to Kennett and attended college at Arkansas State where he got an accounting degree. He went to work for some big accounting firm (Frost?) and they sent him to St. Thomas, VI. He and Jeanine have been there ever since.
Many of my best childhood memories include Mike. He was something of a golden boy. Great at all sports. Popular. He was a good kid. (He’s on the left in the photo above)
Mike and I could always make each other laugh. I’m talking about hysterical, gasping, tears-streaming-down-your-cheeks, can’t-get-your-breath laughter that literally leaves you rolling on the floor.
We didn’t keep in touch in recent years, as is often the case with childhood friends. I regret that. I might never laugh that hard again.
Mike and his wife, Jeanine, have two sons, Luke and Jake.