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Neil was born in near Cave Spring, Virginia, on July 5, 1924 and grew up on his parents historic peach farm in the Roanoke Valley and died, only a few miles away, at age 88 on November 10, 2012 in Salem, Virginia. He was living at home and attending high school in Salem when he registered for the draft in December 1942. Neil was a member of the Church of the Brethren and entered the Civilian Public Service (CPS) as a conscientious objector in March 1945. While assigned to the Cascade Locks, Oregon CPS camp, Neil volunteered for transfer and training to CPS Unit 103, at the Missoula Smokejumper Base. He made three fire jumps during the 1945 season. He married Ida Mae Byer in October 1947 in Elgin Illinois. Neil lived in the upper Midwest in the 1950s working as a factory worker and salesman. He returned to the family farm and worked there and as a mechanic and heavy equipment salesman in the Salem area before retiring.
Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries
National Smokejumper Association, "Smokejumper Obituary: Eller, Neilford (Missoula 1945)" (2020). Smokejumper Obituaries. 403.