In Memoriam: Donald Neal


Donald Neal. Photo provided by Paula Morrison

Donald Neal, a former resident of Canyon Lake, passed away suddenly on Dec. 25, Christmas Day. Don was 85 years old and born in St. Peter, Minnesota, and moved to California as a child.

Don lived in Long Beach and attended Jordan High School where he played baseball and participated in track. He was an excellent athlete who excelled at everything he did.  While at Jordan High School, he met the love of his life, Shirley Martin. They were married in 1953 when Don was drafted into the Korean War. Don was an honor guard in the Korean War and served for two years.

After he came home from the war, Don and Shirley resided in Long Beach, California, where they started a family. They moved to Cypress, California, in 1973. After camping in Canyon Lake for several years, they bought a lot and built a house in 1976. They moved to Canyon Lake full time in 1981.

Don and Shirley were both involved in many clubs and activities in Canyon Lake. Don was a member of the Lions, Roadrunner Club, Travel Club and the CLAMS. They had an active social life in Canyon Lake and enjoyed their many friends and family in the lake.  They also continued to see their friends from high school and there were many trips and activities throughout the years with their families camping and boating.

Don loved camping, fishing and boating. He loved a good game of pool and going to the horse races. He was an active dad and grandfather. Don and Shirley took their children on many camping and boating trips throughout the years. This tradition continued with their grandchildren. They took them on camping trips every summer for years, teaching them the important things in life, like learning to play blackjack.

Don was preceded in death by his wife Shirley, whom he loved dearly. He is also survived by his son Dean Neal and his wife Margaret of Menifee and his daughter Paula Morrison and her spouse Tommy of Menifee. He is the proud grandfather of Deanna Haas, Craig Neal, Natalie Morrison, Andrea Morrison and Vanessa Collins. He has two great-grandchildren, Preston Neal and Eric Jr. Collins.  He also leaves behind sisters Vilette Neal of Long Beach and Brenda Erickson of Hackensack, Minnesota.

A Memorial Service is scheduled for Don at Canyon Lake Community Church on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 10:30 a.m. A reception afterward will follow at the church.