Lowell Roscoe Neely Sr., age 80, of Brewstertown, Tennessee, passed away Saturday, June 3, 2023. He was a retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer (ADC). What people most remember him by is not his admirable service of 21 years in the United States Navy which includes a tour in Vietnam. He is most recognized by his musical talent. He was a gifted musician skilled in playing guitar, bass guitar, steel guitar and was an extraordinary vocalist. When he sang, the people listening would give him a standing ovation when the song was over. I witnessed it many times over the years as I stood on the stage with my Dad playing music with him. He was comparable to any musician or singer in Nashville in the 80’s and 90’s. Several music producers from Nashville came to Jacksonville Florida to hear him and offered him a full contract to record but he refused every time. He did not like to be in the spot-light. As the requests for him to sing came in each night, the only way to get him to sing was to give him liquid courage. He has a grandson that is exactly the same way.
In 1978, Tammy Wynette performed at the NAS Jax Chiefs Club. My Dad was playing guitar in the band prior to her performance. The manager of Tammy Wynette offered my Dad the lead guitarist job for her. I was sitting at the bar eating snow crab legs and heard the entire conversation. He refused the offer because he was still in the Navy. You can’t make that up. He was an inspiration for me and my musical career but I wasn’t near as good as he was.
He is preceded in death by his parents Von Neely and Vina Joyce Neely (Cochran), wife Carol, sisters Susan and Carol, granddaughter Kristen LaGuardia.
He is survived by his 5 children; Russell (Tina), Robin LaGuardia (Ralph), Charles (Amy), Sherri Kring (Terry), Lowell Jr. (Renee) and grandchildren Shiana, Russell Jr., Rachael, Kari, John, Charles Jr., Crystal, Dustin, Anthony and Rhonda and 10 great-grandchildren, brothers Larry, Gary and Roger, Uncle Daniel Cochran, Aunt Marcella Gilmore (Cochran) and Wilma Negele (Cochran).
Funeral services will be held, Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 11:30AM in the chapel of Fraser Funeral Home, 8168 Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32221 with Pastor Patrick Martin officiating followed by interment in Westview Cemetery with US Navy Honors. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.