Robert H. Neeley | Feb. 8, 1914 - April 27, 2013

Valpo man was excellent gardener

2013-06-12T22:02:00Z 2013-06-13T18:18:10Z Valpo man was excellent gardenerCarrie Rodovich Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 12, 2013 10:02 pm  • 

Robert Neeley was a simple man who loved his family and enjoyed giving to others, his family members said.

“He was a simple man. He didn’t let things worry him,” said his grandson, Ron Dees. “He was very forgiving. He was a good listener and a good friend.”

Robert Neeley, 99, of Valparaiso, died April 27. He was retired from Republic/LTV Steel in East Chicago. He had been an Army staff sergeant during World War II, serving in the European, Middle Eastern, African and Asian theaters. He was a member of Hobart VFW Post 5365.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Ola Neeley.

He was an avid gardener and last year planted 120 tomato plants, Goodwin said. He gave his vegetables away to friends, family and even strangers. If he had an excess, he donated them to the local food pantry.

“He wanted to feed everybody,” said his daughter, Bobbie Goodwin.

Dees said his grandfather could grow anything.

“He loved any kind of plant and grew orchids inside the house,” he said. “He loved life, loved seeing things grow and loved sharing his vegetables with people.”

When he was 90, he had a gardening accident that caused him to lose a finger on his left hand and mangle others. He thanked God that it hadn’t happened to his right hand, so he could continue to garden, she said.

Even in his later years when he was ill, he never lost his positive outlook.

“He was a good Christian man, and he loved going to church,” she said. “He was a survivor. He never lost his will to live.”

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