OBITUARY

Joe Miles Neely Sr.

October 9, 1951August 26, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Joe Miles Neely, Sr., 67, of Wilson, North Carolina, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Monday, August 26, 2019. Joe, or Joe Miles, as so many grew to know him, was born in Clinton, North Carolina, the third of three sons to the late Frank Wilson Neely and Mary Morisey Neely. Joe Miles grew up in Clinton and built many lasting friendships with his high school classmates, recently celebrating their 50th graduation anniversary. Upon graduating from high school, Joe Miles attended Atlantic Christian College and later earned his Master’s Degree from East Carolina University. Following college and after a brief stint as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Joe Miles followed in his father’s footsteps when he was sworn in as a United States Probation Officer in the Eastern District of North Carolina. He proudly served in this capacity for more than 28 years, retiring on September 30, 2007, as a Supervising United States Probation Officer. During his career, he gained the respect, admiration, and friendship of many by always being a voice of fair play and decency.

In retirement, Joe Miles lived life to the fullest. Having been an active member of First United Methodist Church in Wilson, North Carolina, Joe Miles dedicated much of his time to serving on many committees including Volunteers in Mission, Men’s Prayer Breakfast, Staff Parrish Relations, and the Board of Trustees. He enjoyed many mission trips and looked forward to the VIM barbeque fundraiser each fall. In addition to his service to the church, Joe Miles was an active member in the Breakfast Kiwanis. When not volunteering and serving others, Joe Miles loved to travel with his beloved wife, Gwen. They were always in search of a new and exciting place to visit. Family was Joe Miles’ first and greatest love. His passion and zeal for his family was the catalyst that drove this great man. Time spent with his wife, children, grandchildren, and countless other family and friends provided him with great joy. But more importantly, those who shared time with him were the recipients of unconditional love, a profound honesty, and a genuine care for others that is unparalleled. He was an active father and enjoyed coaching his children during their youth, no matter what the sport. His time at Topsail Beach, whether fishing or just relaxing, was always treasured. His love of the University of North Carolina Tarheels, Dean Smith, Roy Williams, and the list goes on, was instilled in him from an early age, as his father was an alumnus and started the tradition of a phone call after every Tar Heel win. Tar Heel athletics, particularly football and basketball, were always hot topics if Joe Miles was around.

Joe Miles believed in the faithful service of others. He often delivered neighbors their mail or papers, took their trash to the street, helped with church volunteer building projects, and visited friends in nursing homes or hospitals. Rescue animals were also his friends and often, he was the last resort to a homeless pet that needed saving. He had such a loving and tender heart that always shined so bright and possessed the innate ability to quickly engage with anyone he met and make them a new friend. Joe Miles is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Gwendolyn (Gwen) Byrd Neely; son, Jay Neely and wife, Wendy, of Sims, North Carolina; and daughter, Kristen Spainhour and husband Luke, of Wilson; brother, Frank Neely, Jr., and wife Becky of Topsail Beach, North Carolina; brother Russ Neely of Raleigh, North Carolina; grandchildren Landon Neely, Jackson Neely, Emma Neely, Caiden Neely, Neely Elizabeth Spainhour, and Georgia Spainhour, and grand-dog, Jiggy Spainhour; and many special brother and sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews. Joe Miles was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Wilson Neely and Mary Morisey Neely, as well his beloved son, Joe Miles Neely, Jr., all of whom he is surely celebrating with in Heaven. The family would like to thank all the friends and neighbors who have done so much during this difficult and unexpected time. They would also like to thank the staff at Wilson County Emergency Services and Wilson Memorial Hospital for their dedication and service to Joe Miles.

In honor of Joe Miles’ memory, his family asks that you do a good deed for someone in need; and in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Volunteers in Mission at First United Methodist Church. In celebration of his life, funeral services for Joe Miles Neely, Sr. will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 30, 2019, at First United Methodist Church, 100 Green St. NE, Wilson, NC. A private entombment will follow in Evergreen Memorial Park, Wilson, NC.

The family will receive friends Thursday, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., at Thomas-Yelverton Funeral Home, 2704 Nash St. N, Wilson, NC.

Funeral services are under the direction of Thomas-Yelverton Funeral Home, Wilson, NC. Online condolences may be sent to www.thomasyelverton.com.

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Joe Miles Neely Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Charlotte Williams

September 7, 2019

I want to express my condolences to the Neely Family in the loss of Mr. Neely. As a long-time neighbor to my Family and parents I am saddened about the loss but grateful to have known such a kind and humble man as Joe.
May God continue to strengthen and comfort you during this time and the months to come.

Peace...

Gary Holtzmann

August 29, 2019

Gwen and kids,
I first met Joe and Gwen at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity 39 years ago. Joe was the chapter's advisor with the hot girlfriend. I being a young buck at college and new to the frat plus the new chapter President was in need of direction, let's say. Well after a not so good meeting, Joe sat me down and gave me a good old fashion butt chewing. That was my first and last one from Joe. The frat was later recognized by headquarters as one of their most improved chapters that year in 1980. Last weekend I was in Wilson at the frat house and we were talking about old times and Joe can to mind. I find it strange now after my frat little bro texted me Joe was gone. You all know how great a man Joe was. It goes with saying because ya'll were there every day. I wish I had stay in touch over the years. Gwen and kids I wish you God's peace and comfort and strength. My brother Joe Miles Neely, Sr. rest peacefully in Jesus' arms. Holy Friend Forever Brother. Gary D. Holtzmann Sig Ep 1981

Tom Chowns

August 29, 2019

Joe was a great guy and a wonderful Fraternity Brother. He will be missed by all. God Bless Joe!

Tommy Chowns

Sammy & brenda Brim

August 29, 2019

Our dearest Gwen, Kristen, Luke, jay & special family: I once heard, ( never place a question mark where GOD puts a period) I also relate to being human & asking why? I am SO sorry I am sick& cannot be there for you all, but we pray you feel our love & all our prayers from here in the brushy’s... Hold firmly to GOD’S hand, He will never let go!!! Sammy & brenda Spainhour brim❤️🙏

Ralph Hester

August 29, 2019

During my working years I had a very nice working relationship with Joe; he was always very helpful and a very professional man. He was admired by me, and I'll always remember him, our relationship and our Tar Heel association. May he rest in peace, and may God be with the family during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to Gwen and the entire family.

Jimmy Pridgen

August 28, 2019

Kristen,
I hope you still remember me as your very long ago T-ball coach. I just wanted to let you know that I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I know this has got to be tough for you and the entire family. Please know that you and your family are all in my thoughts and prayers. I don't know why, but you and your father have always meant something special to me after I met you both so long ago. Your Dad had a very special presence to him and I really liked him from the first day I met him. He was always great to me anytime I bumped into him later in life. I just wanted you to know you all meant a lot to me and that you have my deepest heartfelt sympathies.
Sincerely,
Jimmy Pridgen

Tim Williams

August 28, 2019

In 1980 my wife Carolyn and I purchased our first home, we were nervous and excited at the same time. We couldn’t have have asked for better neighbors than Joe and Gwen, they were so nice to us making us feel just like family. Joe was the kindest and most thoughtful man. Carolyn and I are both heartbroken and saddened by Joe’s passing. To Gwen, Jay and Kristen our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Bonnie Medlin

August 28, 2019

Dear Gwen, Jay and family,
There are no words of comfort that I can give at this most difficult time, but I’m asking God to comfort you and give you His Peace. Joe was a very special person and I will never forget his joy and zest for life. He was the one who first told me about Federal Probation and encouraged me along this path! He taught me so much and was always in my corner. My heart breaks for you all and you will be in my constant prayers. Cherish the life he led and always know he deeply touched many lives!
“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with Peace.”
Psalm 29:11
Love,
Bonnie

Earline & Phil Bunn

August 27, 2019

Gwen, Jay, Kristen & Family: There will never be but ONE Joe! He was our friend always... and the memories and life experiences that we shared will always be our bond! Our prayer is that your memories will ease the pain of this most difficult time. But we will all find "peace" in Joe's smile! It was priceless! Love and Prayers!
Earline & Phil Bunn

McDuffie Strickland

August 27, 2019

My deepest condolences to Mrs. Neely and Joe's family. I am glad I went to the 69 class reunion and had a great time reminiscing with Joe after all these years. My prayers to the family.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY