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Obituary for Larry Neal Hanley
Larry Neal Hanley, 84 of Earlham passed away on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at Azria Health Winterset. Visitation will be held from 5-7 P.M. on Friday, June 3rd at the Johnson Family Funeral Home in Earlham. Celebration of life service will be held at 10 A.M. on Saturday, June 4th at the Earlham Church of Christ. Services will be streamed on the Johnson Family Funeral Home Facebook Page (facebook.com/johnsonfamilyfh). Burial will take place at the Earlham Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Earlham Fire & Rescue or the Earlham Lions Club Neal and Sherry Hanley Scholarship Fund. Online condolences may be left at www.johnsonfamilyfuneralhome.com.
Neal was born September 29, 1937 in Hastings, Nebraska to Hazel Francis (Hendrickson) Hanley and John Rhodes (Jack) Hanley. Neal joined his big sister Phyllis Ruth in the family home in Ansley, Nebraska where they lived until shortly after the beginning of WWII. Moving to Big Springs, Nebraska, they lived in the Union Pacific Depot (right next to the main line of the railroad) until WWII was over. They then moved to Julesburg, Colorado where Neal attended grade school and high school. He graduated from Sedgwick County High School in 1955.
He began his post high school education in the fall of 1955 at Nebraska Christian College, although it must be noted that he had more fun than education. It was there in Norfolk that Neal met the love of his life, Sherry Price. They were married June 1, 1958 at the First Christian Church of Norfolk.
While living in Denver, Neal joined the United States Navy in 1960 attending the Naval Training Center in San Diego. After two weeks of boot camp he became a member of the Recruit Drum and Bugle Corps.
Neal and Sherry had decided that she would stay in Denver and he would do his duty and then come home to Denver when done. April of 1961 Neal called and said sell everything and come out here. She did.
After his initial training, Neal went to New London, Connecticut for Submarine School and was then assigned to the USS Pomfret (SS-391) stationed at San Diego.
Neal mustered out of the Navy at the end of September 1964. The couple remained in the San Diego area for a total of seven and a half years. It was here both children, Kathy and Tim, were born.
In 1972 they returned to Norfolk where Neal resumed his college education and at the same time was Director of Computer Services at North East Community College while also pastoring at a small local church. He graduated from Nebraska Christian College in 1975 then pastoring at a church in Wymore, Nebraska.
In 1976, they moved to Earlham, Iowa, Sherry’s home town. This is where they wanted to be.
Neal worked in the Computer Industry for 30 plus years, ending that career in 2002 when he retired at 65. In 2007 Neal was called to be the Pastor of Early Chapel Christian Church. A calling that he thoroughly enjoyed for 10 plus years.
They enjoyed retirement for a few years owning a winter home in Tucson, Arizona. With grandchildren becoming more involved, they decided to stay in Earlham year round. They did not want to miss any of the kids’ activities.
Neal was a loyal Nebraska Cornhusker fan (though frustrated many years) always willing to share the family history intertwined with Nebraska football. He loved all football and made annual treks to watch High School State Football playoffs at the dome.
He was an avid supporter of all things Earlham, coining the phrase “Cardinal Country” while announcing numerous Cardinal football games, both youth and high school; helping to organize and emcee the beginnings of Earlham Freedom Fest; volunteering and being elected to the Earlham School Board; helping to create the Earlham Lions Club; being Chaplain for the Earlham American Legion Post and many, many more activities. Volunteering was his way of life. Serving others first. Even welcoming his children’s friends to stay/live with them during their tough times. Friends are family.
In all of this, Sherry was a supportive companion and continued to be “the Love of His Life”.
To honor Neal’s heart for community and volunteerism, memorials can be made to Earlham Fire and Rescue or Earlham Lions Club Neal and Sherry Hanley scholarship fund.
Neal leaves behind the family to celebrate his life: Wife: Sherry (Price) Hanley; Children: Kathy (Jim) Woolcott-Earlham, Iowa, Tim (Angie) Hanley-San Marcos, Texas; Sister: Phyllis Dye-Denver, Colorado; Brandon (Martina) Tresenriter-Blaine, Minnesota; Dallas (Chandler) Hanley-San Marcos, Texas; Michael (Mikala) Woolcott-Earlham, Iowa; Makenzie Hanley-Minnetonka, Minnesota; Stephen Woolcott-Ames, Iowa; Joshua Woolcott-Earlham, Iowa. Great-grandchildren: Hailey, Brooklynn, Gavyn and Willow Tresenriter; Jude and Hazel Hanley, Penelope Woolcott .Numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and cousins. And so many friends he loved as family.