Thomas Gordon Neel, passed away Friday, February 10, 2023. Thomas was born on February 3, 1954, in Crestview, Florida to Christopher C. Neel of Cypress, Florida, and Anita Sapp Neel of Crestview, Florida. Thomas was a graduate of Grand Ridge High School in Grand Ridge, Florida. Following high school, Thomas enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served, on board the USS INDEPENDENCE from 1972 to 1976. While on shore leave in June of 1975, in Virginia, he met his soulmate, Cynthia Lou Long, on a blind date. August 30, 1975, just two and a half months after meeting, Thomas and Cynthia were married. In April of 1981, Thomas was involved in a motorcycle accident, while traveling to work resulting in him being confined to a wheelchair. Despite the accident, Cynthia and Thomas continued together to raise their two boys, Jared and Justin. Thomas attended Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Florida, and graduated in 1983 with an AA Degree in Computer programming. Thomas actively participated in teaching their children, life skills at a young age, and was even an Assistant Scout Leader, with the Boy Scouts of America, which enabled him to do even more with Jared and Justin. Cynthia remained at his side throughout forty-eight years of marriage, including being at his side on the day of his passing.
Thomas was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Paul Sapp and Coral Sapp of Crestview, Florida, his paternal grandparents William W. Neel and Lovie Neel of Cypres, Florida, his uncle John B. Neel of Cypres, Florida, parents Christopher C. Neel and Anita F. Neel, his grandson, Justin Paul Neel JR. (2 months), and his son Jared Christopher Neel (28).
Thomas is survived by his brother William Paul Neel of Ft. Walton Beach, Thomas’ wife Cynthia Lou Neel, their son Justin Paul Neel and his wife Nadine Nibaldi, and seven grandchildren Abbie Nicole Neel (23), Kyle Thomas Neel (20), Cameron Doyle Brinson-Neel (5), Ethan Christopher Brinson-Neel(4), Aaron Phillip Brinson-Neel (3), Jeremiah Fredrick Nibaldi (5), and Maisy Grace Nibaldi (4).
Funeral Services will be held on February 25, 2023, at 1:00 pm, at the National Cremation and Burial Society, 5641 US 90, Milton, Florida 32583.