James Roland Nealey, 75, of Danville, died Friday, March 11, 2022 at his home following a heroic thirty year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born November 30, 1946 in Burlington to Burton Kelly and Mildred Florence Moore Nealey. On August 30, 1969, he married Catherine M. Gillette in San Antonio, Texas.
Jim graduated as Salutatorian of the Danville class of 1965, then from ISU in 1970 with a degree in animal science. He was a member of the Danville United Methodist Church where he taught Sunday School for fifteen years, and served ten years on the Danville school board.
He was in the National Guard and was a lifelong farmer and cowboy. He loved training horses with his brothers; and mentored other cowboys who wanted to be in the sport of rodeo. In his younger years he enjoyed going to rodeos with his family and friends. He was the IRCA champion in 1979 and in 1984, which earned him a trip to compete in the Calgary Stampede. He was a member of the IPRA for over fifty years and for more than thirty-five years he oversaw the Des Moines County Fair Jackpot. Once Parkinson’s became a part of his life, he enjoyed watching rodeos on TV, making rope halters, and visiting with all of his rodeo friends who remained in touch.
Besides his wife Cathy, he is survived by his children, Patrick Nealey (Toni Staats) of Danville and Katrina Hulse of Burlington; four grandchildren, Tucker and Nealey Hulse, and Caroline and Byers Nealey; brothers, Charlie (Connie) Nealey of Danville and Tom (Diane) Nealey of Bloomington, Illinois; sister Cindy (John) Schuelke of Leavenworth, Kansas; several nieces and nephews; and a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.
The funeral service for Mr. Nealey will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2022 at the Danville United Methodist Church with Pastor Jacob Yocum officiating. Visitation will begin at 10:00 Saturday with the family receiving friends beginning at 12:00 noon until the time of the service. Burial will follow at Jaggar Cemetery, rural Danville. A visitation will be open from noon until 6:00 pm on Friday, March 18, at Elliott Chapel, New London; the family will not be present.
Memorials have been established for Danville United Methodist Church; Danville Fire and Rescue; and Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice. Online condolences may be left at www.elliottfuneralchapel.com.