Kenneth Neely was born on May 6, 1944 in Canton, Ohio and departed this life on June 22, 2019 at Hillside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Kenneth was the son of the late Robert and Rheutita Neely. He was preceded in death by one brother, Bobby. Kenneth married his soul mate and the love of his life, Cleaster Tate, on June 8, 1968 in Los Angeles, California. From that union, they were blessed with one daughter, Kimberly Nicole. Kimberly preceded her father in death on May 21, 2006.
Kenneth had a zest for life. He normally had a smile on his face and something funny to say. Ken was known throughout his community because of walking Buffy and making friends along the way. He will truly be missed. Ken and Cle had a full and blessed life during their 51 years of marriage.
At a young age, Kenneth became an altar boy in the Catholic Church. In his adult life he continued his service in church as an active member at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Takoma Park, Maryland, where he served as the president on the Pastoral Council. Ken devoted a great deal of his time while serving in that position. After retiring to Wake Forest, North Carolina, he joined Hope Lutheran where he continued his service to his church. Ken immediately became active in the church by joining Men of Hope Men’s Group, where he was the vice president and participated fully in many activities. He also was an Usher at Hope Lutheran. Ken volunteered in helping to renovate home through Habitat for Humanity. Ken was one of the first Hope members to participate in preparing and passing out lunches to families in certain areas of Wake Forest. He also volunteered at the Boys and Girls Organization of Wake Forest. He always provided uplifting and comical statements, which always made the job go smoothly, and with fun. Ken was highly regarded by the members of his volunteers groups. Ken was always ready and willing to help in the church and his community. Above all, Kenneth was a devoted husband and father.
Kenneth received his education in Canton, Ohio; Belmont, N.C; and furthered his education after moving to the Raleigh area. Kenneth retired from the Washington, D.C. Government’s Transit Authority, where he enjoyed working with and interacting with a diverse group of people.
Kenneth loved to create and build. He took pride and was extremely talented in that area. It was not much he could not conquer in and around the house. Kenneth was truly in his element when he was looking at or playing football, playing tennis, golfing and fishing.
Kenneth will be lovingly remembered as a positive and kind person. He had a way of turning sadness or something negative into words to uplift. He constantly tried to ease pain with a smile or an uplifting word. He always enjoyed getting together with his golfing partners.
Although Kenneth’s home address has changed, he will continue to live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. His desire was to have a reunion and live on the same street with his daughter in heaven.
Kenneth leaves to mourn his lasting and loving memories by his beloved wife, Cleaster; his sisters, Margaret Williams, Charlotte, N.C; Edith Neely and Carolyn Alexander, Gastonia, N.C; Kathy Barnett (Mac), Lowell, NC.; one sister-in-law, Barbara Currence, Gastonia , N.C, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends. Kenneth was blessed with some very special and supportive friends. Words cannot express the love and thanks to each of them from the beginning to the end of his illness.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 29, 2019 at Hope Lutheran Church, Wake Forest. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Duke Cancer Care.
A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest. (919) 556-5811