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1948 Neal 2023

Neal Rhees

December 16, 1948 — August 4, 2023


Our beloved brother, uncle and friend passed away on August 4, 2023, at the age of 74 after battling several health issues. Neal was born on December 16, 1948, in Washington DC. He made his entrance into the world in spite of a very difficult birth in which he almost didn’t survive. This was his first challenge to overcome at the beginning of a life filled with a unique set of challenges due to autism.


Neal’s father was a pilot in the air force and Neal lived in Tokyo, Japan; Alexandria, Virginia; Dayton, Ohio; Middletown, Pennsylvania; Grand Forks, North Dakota. When his father retired, the family moved to Roy, Utah, where Neal completed his senior year at Roy High School.  He graduated from Weber State College in 1971 with a BS in Political Science and a minor in English. Neal came into his own in college and really enjoyed the depth of learning that college provided.


The onset of autism occurs in early childhood, but Neal did not receive his diagnoses until he was in his 50’s.  Neal was then able to get much encouragement and help from Dr. Richard King Mower.  He especially appreciated the insight and even friendship Dr. Mower gave him. 


Neal was brilliant and his analytical skills were simply amazing. He was ever kind and very trusting.  He had fond memories of spending a month each summer for over a decade with his family in Ogden, Utah, visiting and staying with relatives before his family’s final move to Roy.  Neal enjoyed the finer things of life such as classical music, jazz and beautiful architecture.  He loved impressionist art and even painted as a young adult.  His father bought him a telescope, and Neal spent many hours looking into the night sky identifying stars.  Neal loved old movies, old radio programs, and mystery novels. He had a tender place in his heart for dogs and especially Shih Tzu’s.


His nieces and nephews brought him much joy, and when Neal babysat, he would play games with them for hours.  He had a great sense of humor. He helped care for a grandfather, gave regular service to an Aunt and Uncle, and helped care for both parents. Neal’s life was an example of service. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


We would especially like to thank his niece, Robyn, for all the care and concern she gave to her Uncle Neal. She contacted him daily and took him shopping. They had Saturday movie night, and Robyn helped him celebrate his favorite holiday, Halloween, with the “childlike” fun that made him happy. Her dog, Mr. Miles, provided Neal with many hours of companionship and comfort.


Neal was preceded in death by both parents, Lt. Col. Gilbert Neal and Betty Jean Rhees. He is survived by his sister, Michele (Danny) Wicker.  Surviving nieces and nephews are Kim (Michael) Neslen, Robyn Wicker, Spencer (Katie) Wicker, Adam (Jenna) Wicker and eight great nieces and nephews. Neal will be deeply missed.


Graveside services will be held Saturday August 12, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Lindquist’s Memorial Park at Layton, 1867 No. Fairfield Road, Layton. Friends may visit with family from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Lindquist's Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road.




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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 12, 2023

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Mountain time)

Lindquist's Layton Mortuary

1867 N Fairfield Rd, Layton, UT 84041

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Saturday, August 12, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

Lindquist's Memorial Park at Layton

1867 N Fairfield Rd, Layton, UT 84041

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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