Howard E Neely Jr.

March 24, 1930August 7, 2018

Howard Edward Neely Jr. of Bath, MI passed away on August 7, 2018 at the age of 88.

Howard was born on March 24, 1930 in Ann Arbor, MI. He graduated from Ypsilanti High School where he was a talented student athlete for which he was recently honored as a 2018 inductee into the Ypsilanti Community High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

He went on to study art at Michigan State University. His study was interrupted by the Korean War, where Howard served overseas. When he returned to Michigan State he earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Masters Degree in Art. In addition, he lettered in track and field and football. To add, he was a member of the 1956 Rose Bowl championship team.

Howard shared his talents and taught art at Everett High School for 30 years, during which time he revolutionized the scope of the art curriculum to include college level classes such as jewelry and sculpture.

Howard loved sports of all kinds. He loved to compete and continued to play semi-pro football beyond his college days until the late 1960’s.

Howard loved to coach sports. He was a beloved football, boys track and girls cross-country coach at Everett High School. In fact, he was the first black high school coach in the Lansing School District.

Howard loved to watch sports. He watched all kinds of sports. He was a dedicated Spartan fan and an avid tailgater in his heyday. His favorite athletes to watch included his children and grandchildren.

Howard was a talented artist. He created unique paintings and sculptures that grace his home and created beautiful jewelry for his wife, Linda. He also created the wedding bands for all of his children’s weddings.

Howard loved to garden. His expansive gardens included a large variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. He planted every tree and bush in his yard in Bath and watched them grow for the past 45 years.

Howard could be very serious, but he was also a prankster. He loved to pop up and surprise people. Sometimes he would just suddenly start speaking a nonsense language. He loved to laugh.

Howard's greatest source of pride was his family. He supported and encouraged his family members in all of their endeavors and was proud and humbled by their successes. Howard is survived by his wife of 51 years, Linda Kern Neely and his children, Howard Edward Neely III, Dr. Aaron Nicol Neely, Eric Alan Neely(Jill) and Sarah Elizabeth Neely. He is survived by four grandchildren: Jackson, Julian, Miranda and Olivia. In addition he is survived by two sisters, Mary Louise Foley and Patricia Neely-McCurdy.

Howard is predeceased by his parents, Howard Edward Neely Sr. and Martha Elizabeth (Starks) Neely and his younger brother Willard Elton Neely.

Yes, Howard Neely was a pretty amazing man, who quietly lived an amazing life; a loving husband, father, grandparent, teacher and coach. His creativity made everything more beautiful and his integrity made the world a better place. He will be greatly missed.

A celebration of Howard’s life will be held on September 15, 2018 at Brown Chapel AME Church: 1043 W. Michigan Ave,Ypsilanti, MI, 48197 at 2:00PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the American Heart Association.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, September 15, 2018

Howard E Neely Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ava Udvadia

August 21, 2018

My deepest condolences to the Neely family for the loss of a great man. He was my high school cross country coach (‘81-84) and I will always remember him as a much needed gentle and calming influence in my life at the time. Thank you and Rest In Peace, Coach Neely.

Jamie Hixson (Bancroft)

August 20, 2018

Praying for the Neely family during this time. I was lucky enough to have Mr. Neely as my Art teacher for several art classes while I was a student at Everett. He was also my track coach at one point and even encouraged me to run cross country one year. I always enjoyed his sense of humor.
R.I.P sir you lived your life well
Jamie (Bancroft) Hixson
Everett HS class of 1983

Victoria Andes

August 20, 2018

I never knew Mr. Neely, but I do know Aaron, and, after reading Mr. Neely's obituary, I sure wish I HAD known him. My condolences to the family on your great loss. May your sadness be punctuated with many loving and fun memories and a thankfulness for his amazing legacy. May you have much peace as you grieve.

Amy Harper Matt

August 16, 2018

Mr. Neely was one of my favorite teachers at Everett. I learned so much in his classes and art continues to be a big part of my life. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues; I know he will be greatly missed.