Samuel Neil Harle passed away on May 21, 2023 at the age of 98 years. He was preceded in death by his parents Joe and Frances Harle, wife Betty Kay Harle, son Franklin Foist Harle, and grandson Rodney Foist Harle Fletcher.
Neil was raised in Port Arthur, Texas with his older brother Joe, whom he idolized, and his 6 Harle first cousins. The Harle boys were active in the Boy Scouts with all achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Neil graduated from Port Arthur Jefferson High School in 1942 and enrolled at the University of Missouri in the College of Journalism following in the footsteps of his older brother. Neil enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 19 in 1943. He served in the First Marine Air Wing at a forward airbase on the island of Bougainville in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
Following the war, Neil returned to the University of Missouri where he married his sweetheart Betty Kay and graduated with a journalism degree in 1948. Neil was active in the ownership and publishing of weekly newspapers in East Texas including the Grand Saline Sun, the Mineola Monitor, the Wood County Record, and the Lindale Times. During these years Neil and Betty raised their four children Foist, Joe, Jack, and Ellen and were active members of the First Methodist Church in Mineola. Following Betty’s death in 1980, Neil persuaded the U. S. Peace Corps to accept him at the age of 59 as a rookie Peace Corps volunteer. Neil served 10 years in the Peace Corps in Jamaica, Swaziland, and Botswana. Upon his retirement from the Peace Corps, Neil returned to Mineola to be near family and resided there for 28 years before moving to Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home in 2020.
Neil is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law Joe and Paula Harle and Jack and Wynn Harle, daughter Ellen Jackson; grandchildren Allison Beadle, Lindsey Forbes, Toby Harle, Ross Harle, Cristall Heisch, Michelle Cooper, Michelle Humphrey, Jeff Jackson, and Julie Rhoden; great grandchildren Audrey Beadle, Walker Beadle, Luna Forbes, Dylan Harle, Kinslee Harle, Colette Harle, Dalton Nixson, Logan Lewis, Amber Reyes, Mason Suarez, Grayson Jackson, Cash Rhoden, Eisley Rhoden, Gus Rhoden, Micah Rhoden, and Holland Rhoden; great-great grandchildren Nash Harle, Reid Harle, London Smith, Nathanial Sandone, and Matthew Sandone; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in Mineola, Texas at the First Methodist Church at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. A graveside service will be held in San Marcos, Texas at the San Marcos City Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, 2023.
The family expresses its sincere gratitude to the staff of Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home in Tyler for the exceptional loving care they provided for Neil during the past three years.