John Joseph Neese, 85
John Joseph Neese was born Jan. 23, 1930, in Ernest, Pa., a coal mining town, to Theodore Robert Neese and Mary Alice Keller.
At 13 years old, he went to work in the Palmer Coal Mines until he joined the U.S. Army in 1946 and served during World War II in both Germany and France.
John, a retiree from GTE in March 1990, joined the American Legion Post 89 in Allegan in 1987 and became a life member where he held many offices including Commander.
John was also a life member of the VFW 3030 of Otsego, where he became Chaplain in 1999 and a member of the Honor Guard.
John and Audrey were married on July 26, 1986, and became active in God by working in many ways. They most enjoyed working at Crossroads, which was an outreach program for neighbor children and both served as Deacons of their home church for two years. John became a tutor through the Kids Hope Program with West Ward School. John also provided scholarships to Beachpoint Christian Camp; a retreat for kids to grow in their spiritual walk with the Lord.
John worked many Friday night bingos and volunteered for the Food Bank for more than four years. He led fishing groups to Fort Reed in Canada and enjoyed fishing on the big lake with his lifelong friend Neil Girkie, on their 21-foot Star Craft. Most recently, John was an active member of Main Street United Methodist Church and was part of the local Sunday Nursing Home outreach team in Waynesboro, Va., where he served out his life for God, his family and his country as a hard-working, gentle giant and deeply caring man.
John was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, two brothers and his son James Neese.
He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Audrey (Tiller, Hord) Neese; his children, Linda (Marv) Chick, Tina (Peter) Vial, Dale (Carlie) Horda and Nickie (Mark) Snyder; his grandchildren, Michael (Janita) Gamache, JT (Cynthia) Neese and Jamie (Randy) Thorpe; and his great-grandchildren, Brittany, Jacob, Dalton, Wyatt, Hunter, Trevor, Megan, Michael, Tate and Trent.
Friends may meet with the family on Sunday, June 28, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Gorden Funeral Residence, Allegan Chapel, where funeral services will be Monday, June 29, at 11 a.m. Pastor Todd Viening will officiate. Interment will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta.
If considering making a charitable contribution in John's name, please consider Camp Beachpoint, www.beachpoint.com.