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Charlie Boyd Nealy, 81, passed away peacefully September 3, 2019 in Billings. Funeral services will be held Friday, September 13, 2019 at 11am at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Chester. Burial following in Chester Cemetery.
Charlie was born April 30, 1938 in Torrington, Wyoming to Lavern and Mabel Nealy. He was the 7th of 9 children including 6 sisters, Evelyn, Harriett, Rose, Charlotte, Marge and Karen and two brothers Leonard and Monty.
He attended school in Melbeta, Nebraska until they moved to Chester in 1953 where he graduated from Chester High School in 1956. During high school he participated in basketball (his favorite) and football. In the summers during high school he worked at the Meissner Brother’s Farm. After high school graduation he worked for Wayne Dafoe at the Chester Body Shop.
In March 1959 he registered for the Air National Guard and served until December 1962.
Boyd met Donna Marie Shipman at a dance at the Community Hall in Rudyard. They married February 13, 1960 in Rudyard, Montana then moved to Chester, Montana. After that they were blessed with two daughters, Debbie and Dianne. They recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.
Boyd worked with his brother Monty at the Conoco station in Chester, then eventually went back to work for the Meissner Brother’s Farm. When Boyd’s dad Laverne passed away in 1965, Boyd and Donna moved into town so he could run the McNutt Farm. He worked the farm until 1971 when he bought Rude’s Sheet Metal, which became known as Boyd’s Sheet Metal. They owned the shop for 30 years where they were fortunate enough to be awarded some outstanding trips that will never be forgotten. Some of his favorites were Cancun, Hawaii, Germany and the Rhine River, yet we can’t forget the trip to the Canary Islands where he rode camels.
Boyd was involved in the community and served on the Lion’s Club, Jaycees and Chamber of Commerce boards as well as being a 44 year member of the Elks Lodge. Throughout his years Boyd also had a hand in Laas’ Bar in Chester as well as Meadowlark golf course in Columbia Falls
Boyd loved fishing and hunting with his buddies, racing and selling snowmobiles, golfing, boating, camping and restoring his 57 Ford Fairlane. Many will remember the Nealy basement he finished with a log bar, pool table, shuffleboard table, foosball table, toilet that flushed up, the elevator and hours and hours of fun times.
Well known as the “Fix it guy” he could make or repair anything including converting 2 different school buses into campers.
In 1994 he designed and built their current house next to his warehouse with his brother Monty’s help.
Boyd and Donna always had a HUGE garden which they shared the
‘Fruits of their labor’ with family and friends. He was famous for his dill pickles, mustard, salsa and horseradish; the pantry room was stocked full every year of many canned goodies. Debbie and Dianne were always excited when they could come home and raid his pantry and grateful for the fresh garden food. Many hours for Boyd and family were spent playing cards, especially hand-and-foot, cribbage, and pinnacle (“Nealy rules”), and eating homemade ice cream and popcorn.
In his retirement years he did maintenance work at the Sweetgrass Lodge, spent endless hours at his warehouse canning, woodworking, tinkering, playing cards and entertaining friends. His door was always open, and he loved being surrounded by friends and family. Some were very lucky to get one of Boyd’s handmade wooden money banks.
Boyd is survived by his wife, Donna; daughters, Debbie (Dave) Purcell and Dianne (Bob) Elliott; grandkids, Bailey Purcell, Quinn Purcell, Megan (David) Ramos, Parker Elliott and Abby Elliott; brother, Monty (Bev) Nealy; sisters, Marge (Junior deceased) Cochran, and Karen (Herb) Englehart; and several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Laverne and Mabel Nealy; sisters, Harriot Waters, Evelyn Henderson, Rose Ish and Charlotte Hansen; and one brother, Leonard Nealy.