Stuart M. Neal, 84, formerly of Sheridan, passed away at Sanders Glen in Westfield on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2018.

Born in Hamilton County at the family home place on Dec. 10, 1933, he was the son of the late Glen S. and Maude M. (Millikan) Neal.

He loved that he was born and raised on the family homestead and felt very lucky to be able to return to that same home and spend the majority of his adult life. After graduating with the Westfield High School Class of 1952, he enrolled at Purdue University, earning a degree in electrical engineering in 1956. Following his studies at Purdue, Mr. Neal went to work for Motorola at their facilities in Chicago. He was with the company only a short time before leaving to serve his country with the U.S. Army.  He spent most of his military career at Cape Canaveral, but also served for a short time in Alabama.

After leaving the service, Mr. Neal took a position with GM / Delco Electronics in Kokomo. GM seemed to be a perfect fit. He spent the next 45 years with the company, helping to develop GM's electronic fuel injection system.  He retired from GM in 1998, giving him more time to devote to his other hobbies and interests.

Although Mr. Neal was an electrical engineer by trade, he was fascinated with the mechanics of how things worked. He, along with his sister and brother-in-law, would frequent tractor shows whenever they got the chance. He had a genuine respect and admiration for their construction and for the way the entire piece of machinery functioned. His analytical mind loved the challenge of trying to decipher how something worked and how to fix it when it broke. For the most part, if it was broke, he could probably fix it.

Another passion that Mr. Nealhad was researching local history and genealogy. He was a member of both the Westfield and Sheridan Historical Societies. During his tenure with both organizations, he was an integral part of their researching efforts, as well as teaching countless individuals how to properly track down their own family histories. Mr. Neal was very independent and seemed to be constantly on the go. He was a fixture at many of the local libraries. Affectionately known as the man with the walker, he was always quick to point out that he DID NOT need any assistance, and that he would be just fine.

He was a member of the Eagle Creek Evangelical Friends Meeting, where he served as the head usher and clerk, as well as numerous other positions within the church, for many years. Family, and that includes his church family, were a very important part of his life. He was as loyal a friend as you would ever want to know. He very humbly put his own life on hold to take care of his aging parents.

Survivors include his sister, Mary E. Reynolds of Westfield; his nieces and nephews, Sue Anne (Jim) Spaethe, Bruce N. Brown, Mark M. (Lynn) Cox, Robin M. (Debbie) Reynolds, Randy J. (Barbara) Reynolds, Mary Ann (Steven) Davis and Laura J. (Randall) Ridge; and by the local history librarians of Hamilton County and the surrounding areas, who will miss his visits.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Wilma L. Cox; nephew, Craig M. Cox; and by his brother-in-law, Darrell Reynolds.

Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 at the Eagle Creek Friends Church, 18103 Eagletown Rd. in Westfield. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Crown View Cemetery in Sheridan. Pastor Steve Pedigo will be officiating. Family and friends may pay their respects from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 at Eagle Creek Friends Church.

Memorial Contributions may be presented to either the Eagle Creek Friends Church, or to Gideon's International.