Richard Irving McNeely

Richard Irving McNeely

Richard Irving McNeely, 88, died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of April 20, 2017, in Bozeman, Montana. He was born Nov. 24, 1928, in Goodland, Kansas, to Henry Irving McNeely and Emma Madeline (Dendurent) McNeely. Richard graduated from high school in Long Beach, California. Richard earned his BA degree from Westmont College, California, in 1950. He also earned a ThM (1954) and his ThD at Dallas Seminary (1963). His PhD from the University of Southern California was conferred in 1986.

He devoted his life to proclaiming the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection and teaching others of God’s saving grace. Richard had a great impact on the many students he taught at Biola University and Talbot Seminary during the ‘60s and ‘70s, on the Sailors and Marines he ministered to throughout his time while in the US Naval Reserve, including two tours of active duty in Viet Nam, and his beloved congregation at Springhill Presbyterian Church which grew spiritually and numerically during his tenure.

Throughout Richard’s career, he was a youth pastor, held many music and choir director positions, and had a beautiful tenor voice. He loved to sing in the Bozeman Symphonic Choir. He also played numerous brass instruments and participated in bands beginning in junior high school.

In the early 1990s, Richard was a Presbyterian Campus pastor at MSU Bozeman and soon after became the pastor at Springhill Presbyterian Church in Bozeman. Following his retirement in 2008, he was named Pastor Emeritus by the church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Irving and Emma Madeline McNeely; and brother, Donald Dean McNeely.

He is survived by his wife, A. Gretchen (Orman) McNeely of Bozeman, Montana; his first wife, Jean Paton (Graham) McNeely of Sterling Heights, Michigan, their children, Dennis Dean McNeely (Sally) of Potomac Falls, Virginia, and their children Margaret McNeely of Newport News, Virginia, and Graham McNeely of Newport News, Virginia; Kathleen Jean (McNeely) Strong (Alan) of Sterling Heights, Michigan and Kathleen’s children Bethany (Comer) Hidalgo (Michael) of Denver, Colorado; Stephen Comer (Alison) of North Ridgeville, Ohio; Jonathan Comer (Elizabeth) of Elyria, Ohio; Ryan Comer of Raleigh, North Carolina; and Michael Craig McNeely of Burnett, Texas and his children Alicia (McNeely) Reid (Josh) of Sugarland, Texas; Megan (McNeely) Lindeman (Blake) of Bertram, Texas; Andrew McNeely (Kelly) of College Station, Texas; as well as 12 great-grandchildren living in Colorado, Ohio, and Texas. He is also survived by his loving stepchildren, Joseph Anthony Cavon (Karyn) and their three children Jacob Joseph Cavon, Joshua Curtis Cavon, and Angela Tuana Cavon of Bozeman, Montana; and Leslie (Cavon) Contreras (Tony) and their daughter, Alyssa Rose Contreras of San Antonio, Texas.

Visitation with family will be held Saturday, May 6 at 10 a.m. at Springhill Presbyterian Church, 4769 W. Babcock followed by funeral services at 11 a.m. Interment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.