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John, 53, died May 14, 2006, of natural causes in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He graduated from high school in Iowa in 1971 and earned a B.S. in resource conservation from the University of Montana in 1976. After serving two years in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, he started his career as a civilian firefighter at air force bases in New Hampshire and Nevada. John spent the rest of his career working in recreation and wilderness for the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon (Burns District). He spent two summers as a Missoula smokejumper, where he earned the nickname of "Buns Up." After suffering a heart attack in 2001, John pulled out all the stops and made sure to live life to the fullest. Although only in Klamath Falls for six months, John was totally enamored with the area and had collected many new friends.



Publication Date

May 2006


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Neeling, John (Missoula 1985)