Neil was the ultimate public servant. A volunteer firefighter since he was 13 years old‚ a sheriff’s deputy for 8 years‚ and a nationally-registered EMT the last year and a half.
At the age of 11‚ he was following the firefighters around the station in Destin‚ Florida. At the age of 12‚ he became a junior firefighter‚ and by 14 he was the Lieutenant of the junior firefighters. Neil stayed with the Destin Fire Department for many years‚ becoming a paid firefighter after he graduated from high school.
Public service was a big part of his life after his family. Neil had three children‚ Kathryn‚ Cody‚ and Molly‚ and two stepchildren‚ Ashley and Brandon. He was a great father and a great husband to his wife Cindy. Neil was always giving of his time and his abilities‚ rarely thinking of himself. Thirty-two years was not enough time for all that he had to give.