Jeffrey Lewis Neal, a local resident of five years, passed away on Tuesday, June 1, 1999, after a 15-year battle with AIDS. He was 44. He is survived by his companion of 10 years, Joseph Tatum, his parents, William and Florence Neal, and three brothers, James, Joseph and Jerry Neal.
Jeff was born in Sacramento on July 15, 1954. He lived in Palm Springs from 1974 to 1994, where he was a chef at both Billy Reed’s Restaurant and Marriot Rancho Las Palmas. He loved cooking, traveling, duck collecting, gambling, Chinese food and his two cocker spaniels, Muffin and Buffy.
He moved to Idyllwild in February 1994, where he spent the remaining and happiest years of his life. He was active in the local community, and was well-known for his annual Christmas party. He loved the warm and friendly people of his “Northern Exposure,” and especially wanted to thank Mel, Janice and everyone else at Idyllwild Pharmacy for their love, help and support over the years.
Jeff will be cremated, and a memorial service is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 3, at Palm Springs Mortuary in Cathedral City. For more information, call the mortuary at (760) 321-0994.