Thomas “Joe” Neely, 64, of Edwardsville, passed away at 11:04 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, with his family by his side at his home.
He was born Aug. 11, 1950, in St. Louis, the son of Ruth J. (Easom) Neely and Nicholas Arvanko. Joe and his wife own and operate T.K. Carpet Gallery. They began the business in April of 1982 in Upper Alton until moving out to Godfrey in July 1985. He was a flooring installer for 45 years, establishing a reputation of excellence in installation and products. He loved his years of serving others throughout the community, was a kind and quiet guy with a strong will to do the best he could to help. He had worked hard from his early childhood as a paperboy and as a gas station attendant before adventuring into taking on a life of laying carpet. He was a mentor of his skills to his sons and many others throughout the years. The United States Army veteran proudly served his country during the Vietnam War.
He married Vicky Jo (Huitt) Neely on Nov. 15, 1975, at the Methodist Church in Hartford and they have had over 39 years of raising their beloved children, enjoying their cherished grandchildren and many travels and adventures through life. He was devoted to his dogs, was an avid collector of beer memorabilia, wrestling fan enthusiast, loved nice cars and enjoyed his days of playing softball. He was a 1969 graduate of East Alton-Wood River High School.
In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by two sons, Thomas Joe “Tommy” (Andrea) Neely Jr. of Godfrey and Kevin (Sara) Neely of Godfrey; two daughters, Jennifer Huggins of Edwardsville and Lori (Karyn) Huggins of Edwardsville; five grandchildren, Connor, Halle, Caitlyn, Talan and Henry Neely; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Terry and Marvin Denton; niece, Michelle Prickett; nephew, Jason Denton; great -niece; two great-nephews and a great-great-niece, all of Hartford; cousins, Kenneth, Ann, Dwight and Mac Poag, all from Tennessee; other extended family; lifelong friend, Gibb Adams; special neighbors and many friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joe and Leona Huitt.
In celebration of his life, visitation will be at Pitchford Funeral Home, 2555 Vaughn Road in Wood River, from 4 until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, with the Rev. Charles West officiating. Burial with full military honors will be at Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto.
Memorials may be made to the Alton 5A’s animal shelter for his love of animals or to Hospice of Southern Illinois for their care.
Online guestbook available at www.pitchfordfuneralhome.com.