Neal Whiteside, a man of faith, love and devotion, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, May 21, 2023. He passed away in the arms of his wife, Janet, with whom he was united in a loving marriage for over six decades.
Neal was born at home on December 2, 1938, to Lola Samuelson and Glenn Whiteside. Their influence, along with that of his stepfather, John Vickers, helped shape Neal into the caring, compassionate and thoughtful man that he grew to be. Neal was preceded in death by his siblings, Janine Konigsmann and Samuel Whiteside. His sister, Donna (Vickers) Blackwell, carries forward cherished memories of their times together.
Neal's life was marked by many significant milestones and experiences. He began his education in a one-room schoolhouse in Holbrook, IL. After graduating from Urbana High School in 1956, Neal joined the US Navy. His time in the service instilled a sense of honor and duty in him that remained present throughout his life.
Upon returning home from the Navy, Neal's path crossed with that of his future wife’s. Their meeting was serendipitous and marked the beginning of a beautiful love story. The devotion that Neal and Janet showed one another, coupled with the dedication they had to their children, served as an inspiration to all who knew them. Neal is survived by his wife, Janet (Armstrong) Whiteside; daughter, Theresa Whiteside and her wife Rhonda Copeland; daughter, Susan Kauffman and her husband Jonathan; as well as his daughter-in-law Sherry Whiteside. Neal was preceded in death by his son, Roger Whiteside.
Amidst his busy life, Neal always took the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in things. He cherished spending quality time with his family and adored each of his grandchildren. Neal will forever be remembered by his grandkids Joshua Casey, his wife Amanda, and daughter Kaylee; Hillary Ortiz and her husband Angel; Megan Casey and her fiancé Dennis Donald Jr.; Audrey Winfrey, and her husband Aaron, their children, Teagan, Hayden, Isaac, Kadence, Brandon, Payton, Griffin, Alayna, Mason and Samuel; Leslie Cortez, and her husband Elder, their children Danilo, Enzo and Isla, as well as those cherished souls in heaven.
In addition to spending time with his family, Neal’s commitment to excellence led him to a successful career at Kraft, Inc. Neal approached every shift with integrity and brought forth a steadfast work ethic that left a lasting impact on the company and his fellow co-workers. Neal retired from Kraft.
Throughout the course of his retirement, Neal found solace and enjoyed the mental stimulation that came from solving cryptograms, daily crossword and sudoku puzzles. He enjoyed putting his mind to work and embraced any challenge that he was given, no matter how complex it seemed. Neal’s never-ending determination and constant thirst for knowledge was truly a sight to behold.
Graveside services to honor Neal's life will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery in Urbana on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at 11 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made in Neal's name to Crisis Nursery or Salt & Light. May his soul find eternal peace in the presence of the Lord, as we pay tribute to his memory and continue his legacy.
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