Mar 222013

Verlon Spurgeon Larry Neill, 70, passed away on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at his home in Lakeside surrounded by family. He fought a hard battle with cancer for months. Viewings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, at the Owens Livingston Mortuary-White Mountain Chapel, located at 320 N. Ninth Street in Show Low, and at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 25, just prior to the funeral services at 10 a.m. at the Pinetop-Lakeside Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 1520 Church Lane in Lakeside. Burial will follow at the Lakeside Cemetery.
Verlon was born to Gene and Maredia Neill in July 1942 in a cabin by Black River. The closest town was Coming, Ark. He grew up mostly in the South and West, and went to school in Arkansas, Texas, California, Nevada and Arizona. He loved living on the ranch in Nevada.
He came to the White Mountains in July 1961, and joined the LDS church the following year.
Verlon met and married Viola Hansen of Lakeside in August 1963.
He was drafted into the United States Marine Corps in April 1966, and served his country in Vietnam from the fall of 1967 to December 1968. He earned the rank of sergeant, a combat promotion.
After being honorably discharged, he returned to Lakeside and his wife Vi.
Verlon worked for Southwest Forest Industries, sawmill in McNary, Show Low Police Department, Fort Apache Timber Co., Western Pine Sales in Snowflake and finally the paper mill in Snowflake. He retired from the paper mill after 25 years as an electrical and instrumentation supervisor.
He was a reserve officer
with the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years and a member of the SWAT team.
Verlon was a good son and helped take care of his mother for 25 years after his dad died. He was a great brother, husband, father and grandfather. He truly believed in family first.
He liked to go prospecting but never “struck it rich.” He enjoyed camping with family and friends. In his youth he liked to hunt, but after Vietnam that interest changed. He could fix almost anything and his kids called him MacGyver.
Survivors include his wife, Vi of Lakeside; two daughters, Helen (Brian) Henderson of Lakeside and Carol (Steven) Maxwell of Taylor; three sons, Evan Neill of Mesa, Luke (Sarah) Neill of Gilbert and Dirk (Laura) Neill of Medford, Ore.; three sisters, Comellia (Leroy) Novak of Texas, Carlene (Don) Tisdale of Show Low and Linda (Spike) Probasco of Show Low; nine grandchildren, Brianna (Matthew) Link, Bryce, Shannin, Patrik and Rilee Henderson, Chloe and June Maxwell, Hayden and Ginny Neill; great-grandson Camden Link, who will be born in June; and many extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister, La Vonna Jean; and a grandson, Derrick Reid Henderson.
Owens Livingston Mortuary-White Mountain Chapel was in charge of the arrangements.Neill, Verlon obit