Dec. 6, 1928 - Nov. 4, 2017
ROCK ISLAND — Edgar Eugene Neaves, 88, beloved dad, grandfather and great-grandfather, went home to be with the Lord on November 4, 2017. Services in celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, November 13, at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., 6601 38th Ave., Moline, with burial at Rock Island National Cemeter, Arsenal Island. Visitation will be 10 a.m. prior to the service. Memorials may be made to Disabled American Veterans.
Ed was born on December 6, 1928, to Edgar and Bertha Neaves in Jerome, Idaho. Growing up, Ed helped out on the family farm and rode his horse (old Tony) to a one-room school called Sugar Loaf. There he had many adventures with his best friend JB, such as being asked by their teacher to shoot a rabid dog that was threatening the other kids. Every day on the way home from school, Ed and JB would stop by the train tracks and throw rocks at the train. Eventually the train engineers threw coal back at them. By the time he got to high school, Ed was a handsome track star and became the Idaho state champion in the mile two years in a row. In his junior year, he noticed a beautiful young girl named Lorraine Kyle and got up the courage to ask her out. From that moment on, she was the only girl for him. Graduating from Jerome High School in 1947, Ed went to the University of Wyoming on a track scholarship. One time he returned home for a visit to find that Lorraine was on a date with another guy. Even though they had been writing to each other, they did not yet have an understanding. Being a bit of a rascal, Ed decided it was prudent to let the air out of the other guy’s tires. At the start of the Korean War, Ed left college to enlist in the Air Force when he found out he was about to be drafted into the Army. He had always had a fascination with airplanes. He also proposed to Lorraine and they were married in Texas on February 17, 1951, where he was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base. Their wedding day was a little too exciting for his bride, as Ed was two hours late due to car trouble. She also knew he liked to tease but wasn’t quite sure whether to believe him when he told everyone he won her rings in a craps game. Eventually Ed was transferred to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska where he and Lorraine lived in a small trailer. After being discharged from the Air Force, they eventually moved back to Wyoming where Ed graduated from the University of Wyoming with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1959. Following graduation, Ed worked for Boeing in Seattle for four years before finding a permanent position at the Rock Island Arsenal in 1964. He worked at the Arsenal for almost 30 years, rising to a senior leadership position in the Artillery branch before retiring in 1993. Ed and Lorraine were married for 66 wonderful years and raised a family of four children.
Ed was a positive, fun-loving kind of guy. He had phrases he loved to use, such as, “That’ll work” and “Whatever is handy.” For him, there wasn’t a problem that couldn’t be solved. He loved to fix things and was an accomplished welder and mechanic. In the late 1960s, he built the family a new house, doing most of the work himself. Everyone in his neighborhood would bring him things to fix. He also refurbished VW Beetles. In the 1970s, his CB handle was the Bug Doctor.
Family always came first for Ed. There was nothing he loved better than spending time with them. He was a man of quiet, steady faith, setting a good example for his children and raising them with strong Christian values. He loved riding motorcycles with his kids and rode a large section of the Lewis and Clark Lolo Trail with them one summer. Every year, he and Lorraine took the family on a three-week vacation out west, enjoying camping and fishing, visiting relatives and giving his kids the best memories of their lives. After retirement Ed and Lorraine traveled extensively with their fifth-wheel trailer and formed a blue grass band at Southern Charm Retirement Park in Florida, where they were elected King and Queen of the park in 2004. He was an accomplished musician and played the mandolin and guitar quite well. In 2014, Ed and Lorraine moved permanently to St. Petersburg, Florida.
Ed was an amazing husband and father and he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his four children, Debbie (Kevin) Hoehn, Eddie (JoLynn) Neaves, Tim (Michelle) Neaves, Jeff (Patrice) Neaves; five grandchildren, Justin (Jennifer) Hoehn, Alyssa (Scott) Berg, Austin (Albert) Neaves, Tommy Neaves and Rebecca Neaves; and seven great-grandchildren, Nathan Berg, Dylan Berg, Madeline Hoehn, Vivienne Hoehn, Wade Clausen, Aailyah Clausen and Tristen Barisciano. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Ed was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Lorraine; his parents; his sister, Beverly; and brother, LaVerne.
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