Rev. Charles Lester Neely, Sr., 86, of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina formerly of Oak Hill, West Virginia passed away Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
Born June 23, 1933, in Cunard, WV, he was the son of the late Lacy Arnold Neely and Clara Ingles Neely Jones.
Charles spent most of his early years in and around the town of Oak Hill, West Virginia. After his marriage to Iona Canterbury they moved to Columbus, Ohio with their oldest son Lacy. Charles worked for 10 years at Columbus Coated Fabrics in the shipping department. In late 1956, his life changed dramatically when he came to faith in Christ. After a few years of preparation he moved his family to Albemarle, North Carolina in 1963 to answer a call to pastor a small church. In late 1966 he moved to Raleigh to another congregation and was there until mid 1972. Though he switched his interest to law enforcement, taking a job with the State Capital Police, he still served as an associate, supply, or interim pastor until about 2010. He retired from law enforcement as a sergeant with the State Capital Police in 1990 and pursued his interest in the martial arts as a black belt instructor in Aikido.
He had many interests and was a lifelong learner. Always striving to be the best he could be, he inspired others. With a quick wit and great humor, you could always count on some sage wisdom packaged in a funny and memorable way. He was a good listener as well. Space and time are inadequate to sum up a life so well lived. He served his generation with honesty and integrity in all of his endeavors.
Preceding him in death were sister, Mona Golbach; and brothers, James Neely, Kenneth Cecil Neely, Robert Edward Neely and Lacy Arnold Neely, Jr. Charles and Iona also suffered the loss of their oldest son Lacy in 1981.
Surviving are his wife of 69 years, Iona Canterbury Neely; and their two sons, Jim with his wife, Jackie, and Chuck with his wife, Deborah. He was blessed to have and thoroughly enjoyed being a grandfather to his four grandchildren; Monica Nelson with husband, John, Lisa Davis with husband Terry, Levi Neely with wife, Melissa, and Cammie Neely. He was blessed also with nine great-grandchildren, Jacob,Dale, Rebecca Dale, Peyton Dale, Logan Nelson, Nicole Pendergraft with husband, Kyle, Tyler Davis, Creed Davis, Julia Neely, and Matthew Neely.
Services will be on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 12:00 P.M. at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill with Pastor Mike Kees officiating. Burial will follow at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Saturday.
Online condolences may be sent at
Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, WV