The last days were good ones: Riding the motorcycle in the hill country and eating barbecue and ice cream with friends on a Saturday. Watching NASCAR races and mowing the lawn on a Sunday. And then he was gone. Way too soon.
Thomas Matthew Neal, 61, died Oct. 9, 2016, suddenly and without warning.
Born in Tulsa and raised Catholic, Tom was the fifth of nine children of James Hal Neal Jr. and Mary Alice Maguire Neal.
He graduated from Nathan Hale High School and married Diannah McKinley in 1973. They lived in Stillwater where their sons Brandon and Eric Neal graduated from high school. Tom graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BA in Business.
He moved to Laredo, Texas, and married Roxana Garza and found his place in a new culture. He earned his Master's Degree in Education from Texas A&M International University and began a new career as an educator.
His passing leaves a gaping hole in the futures of his family and friends, who were counting on him to be Dad, husband, brother, and friend.
Tom is survived by his wife, Roxana; his sons and daughters-in-law, Brandon and Krista Neal of Stillwater, OK and Eric and Heather Neal of Helena, MT; his siblings Mary Alic Eggleston, Coeur D'Alene, ID; Barbara Praesetyo, New York City, NY; Martha Duck Wheeler, Broken Arrow, OK; Lisa Moody, Tulsa, OK; Katherine Neal, Chino, CA; Patrick Neal, Tulsa, OK; James Hal Neal III of Texas; and Michael Neal of Arkansas; and his five grandchildren Cora, Elizabeth, Kaich, Wyatt, and Zoe.
The funeral will be on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Fitzgerald Southwood Colonial Chapel, 3612 E. 91st. St. South, Tulsa, OK.
Published on  October 14, 2016