Donald Neal

SYLMAR, CALIF. — Donald L. Neal, of Sylmar, Calif., passed away Aug. 29, 2020.

He was born March 31, 1959, in Kankakee, the son of Raymond and Joanne (Doyle) Neal.

Don graduated from Bradley High School in Bradley, in 1977. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin — LaCrosse with a BS in Business Administration in 1985. He later earned a second BS from CalState Domingues Hills in Mathematics.

He was a teacher and coach for more than 30 years with Los Angeles Unified and coached at West LA Junior College. He had a special rapport with many of his players and students. Don was always a coach, in the classroom, as well as on the football field. He was a positive influence on many young lives.

Don is remembered by his students for many of his sayings, like “Be the better you,” and “It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win.”

He was also involved with the Sylmar Neighborhood Council serving in many capacities, including president. He launched the Sylmar Olive Festival and served as chairman. Don had a passion for life and was excited and enthusiastic in all of his endeavors, he was a born leader.

Surviving are his wife, Judith (Vieth) Neal. Together, they truly enjoyed 35 years of loving each other. In the last few years, they explored California, preparing for their retirement, when they would begin an adventure in a new place. He loved visiting wineries, exploring beaches, and having new experiences.

Don will be forever remembered by his brothers and sisters, Mona Burnham, of Bourbonnais, Mike (Kim) Neal, of Kankakee, Dale (Deb) Neal, of Bradley, Anne (Kevin) Kidd, of Bradley, Joe Neal, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Richard Neal, of Bourbonnais; and stepbrothers, Ron (Becky) Blackwell, of Bradley, and Rick (Tammy) Neal, of Bourbonnais.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his niece and goddaughter, Courtney Kidd; and his nephew, Austin Burnham.

Services will be held Nov. 14 in Holmen, Wis.

He will be truly missed.

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