Julie Ann Hall-KernNovember 15, 2023
Phyllis EllzeyNovember 15, 2023
Ural Antoine Neal, devoted husband, father, brother, and friend passed away on Friday, November 10, 2023, at his home in Chauvin, LA. Ural was born to Albert and Beulah Neil in 1939 and raised in the Chauvin community. As a boy he worked with his family drying shrimp on the platforms south of Dularge, and at the young age of 13, he left school to make his mark as a fisherman. When he reached 18, Ural worked on the crew boats of the Lake Pelto Oil Field. In 1963 he was drafted into the US Army and was stationed in Germany along the Berlin Wall. Upon returning home he married Thelma White and took up work as a welder. Ural and Thelma raised their two children Sandy Lee and Sammy Lee in Chauvin.
In the late 70s, Ural’s love for the water and the shrimping industry of his family called to him. Ural entered the trawling business and captained his trawler The Sammy Lee. Ural enjoyed cooking for family and friends, and shrimp and crab boils were a regular event when the boat came in. During those years Ural and Thelma took the family on many exciting and memorable road trips around the US and were active participants in Lagniappe on the Bayou, held at their home church of St. Joseph’s in Chauvin. The boat was lost in a storm in January 1999, and Ural turned to new endeavors. Fluent in Cajun French, Ural and Thelma opened their home as a bed and breakfast for French travelers, and Ural worked to grow his home garden and citrus grove. From that point on, his grandchildren knew their Pawpaw as a “farmer” because of the backyard fruits and vegetables Ural grew for family and friends. In his later years, he spent time having coffee with friends at Marty J’s and watching traffic pass on the bayou. Ural was a great conversationalist, quick to a joke and always ready to share a great story. He will be greatly missed by family and friends, and all who knew him will remember his joy and light.
Ural is survived by his loving wife, Thelma White Neal; his son, Sammy Lee Neal; his daughter, Sandy Neal Matzke and her husband, Paul; his grandchildren, Shannon Matzke Badortha and her husband, Dylan, Hunter Matzke and his fiancé, Courtney Serigne, and Garin Matzke; his brothers, Leeland Neil and his wife, Emily, and Russell Neil and his wife, Sally; his sister, Elaine N. Lapeyrouse; his brothers-in-law, Enis White, Jr., Eldrid White and his wife, Susie, and George White and his wife, Debbie; his sisters-in-law, Rita W. Breaux, Deanna W. Compeaux and her husband, Cleveland, Shirlene W. Hummel and her husband, George, Barbara Anne W. Bourg and her husband, Terry, and April W. Wells and her husband, Pershing; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ural was preceded in death by his parents, Albert Neil and Beulah Blanchard Neil; his brother, Julius Neil; his brothers-in-law, Bernard Lapeyrouse, Albert White, and Robert White; his sisters-in-law, Edia Neil and Julia White.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend a visitation for Ural on Thursday, November 16, 2023 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Chauvin, beginning at 10:00a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00p.m. Military Honors will be at 11:00a.m. Interment will immediately follow Mass in St. Joseph Cemetery.
Chauvin Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Ural Neal.