To the Editor:
On Friday morning, July 15 at 9 a.m., I was watching the veterans coffee hour “Tribute to General Butch Neal” on HullTV. I saw some familiar faces. A Marine Corps Vietnam-era veteran, I couldn’t make it due to the severity of my health issues. I’ve been confined to my home in a wheelchair for four years at Hull senior housing, but my heart was with Butchie and everyone there.
I know that some of you have very fond memories of growing up with Butchie. I also grew up around him, as Butchie’s uncle, Robert Blackstone Neal, was married to my aunt Minnie Lou. They were Bobby Neal’s parents. Minnie Lou and my mother, Jewel, were sisters. We all lived in the Village. My mother and I always walked down Spring Street to visit Minnie Lou, who was a beautiful lady and so much fun to be around. She was so proud of Butchie and her son, Bobby, also a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran. Minnie Lou used to say to my mother, “Those are my boys.”
Over the years, Butchie and I always stayed in touch. Whenever he was in town, he always visited me. A few weeks before Memorial Day, I called Butchie to catch up. Our conversation was about his wife, Kathleen, and his sister, Pamela. Not long after we spoke, it was a shock to hear what happened. I was so glad that I reached out to him because I got to tell him that I loved him. May he rest in peace.
My heart goes out to all of Butchie’s family and friends for their loss.
Gordon P. Trapp