Neal joined the Mazamas in 1982 after completing a Mazamas Basic School climb of Mount Hood. Over the next thirty years, Neal was active across the organization. In 1988 he joined the Lodge Committee, where he served until 1993. In 1991 Neal started leading hikes for the Mazamas, he led twenty-six hikes over the next twenty-one years. In 1995, Neal became a Mazama climb leader and over the next ten years he led, or assisted on, climbs up peaks across the Northwest.
In 1994 Neal joined the Conservation Committee. As chairman, he tackled a diverse array of issues ranging from testifying against the expansion of the urban growth boundary, protesting the Forest Services timber sale at Enola Hill, supporting the Oregon Clean Streams Initiative, and combatting the expansion of Mt. Hood Meadows ski area. Neal’s efforts on the Conservation Committee earned him great respect among the Mazamas and they showed their appreciation by awarding him the Montague Conservation Award in 1997. He later rejoined the Conservation Committee in 2004 and helped co-organize and run the Melting Mountains Conference in 2007, which first brought awareness of Global Warming issues on glaciers and mountains to the Mazamas.
In 2008 Neal joined the Outings Committee, served on the Mazama Mountaineering Center’s Solar Panel Task Force and was an instructor for the Nordic Ski School. Neal also served on the Bylaws Committee in 2011 and the Governing Documents Committee in 2012. He will be deeply missed by the Mazamas community.
There will be a memorial service for Neal on December 29th at 4:00 pm at the Milwaukie Community Club, 10666 SE 42nd, Milwaukie (SE 42nd and Jackson). His family asks that any remembrances be given in the form of funds or elbow grease to environmental preservation causes.