Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Tedd Randolph Nealey

 
Tedd Randolph Nealey

Tedd Randolph Nealey

Tedd Randolph Nealey, beloved father, husband, brother, uncle and friend, died on July 2, 2021, in a farming accident near Reardan, Wash. He led his life with a strong faith, competitive spirit, moral conviction for his country, pride in his community, love for his family, and passion for the game of basketball. Wherever he went, he strove to leave it a better place and made many friends along the way.

He was born on January 29, 1947 to Darwin and Edith Nealey in Walla Walla, Wash., with an identical twin brother, Terry, and they were later joined by siblings Rebecca and Lane. Raised on the family farm homesteaded by his grandparents, he graduated from LaCrosse High School in 1965. After three semesters at Whitworth College in Spokane to play basketball, he transferred to WSU and became a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He was one of the highest-ranking military cadets in the Army ROTC program, graduated with a degree in Agricultural Business, and became an avid, life-long Coug supporter.

Following graduation, Tedd immediately entered active duty and served in Vietnam as a Military police officer, and then returned home to Washington state. He moved to Spokane, Wash. where he met Teresa Knudson, and the two were married on Sept. 29, 1972 and had three children, Tamara, Todd and Troy. They moved to Harrington, Wash. and ran a cattle ranch for five years before taking over the family farm in LaCrosse in 1978, where he lived and worked since. Tedd & Teresa later divorced.

He married Patricia Colvin in 2003 and the merging of their families resulted in nine children and 21 grandchildren.

Tedd was always an active member of the community, seeking to improve the areas in which he lived. He was accepted into Class I of the Ag & Forestry Leadership program, and his class traveled to China in 1979. He was elected to the LaCrosse School board where he lobbied for the school to combine with the Endicott school district. He chaired the Whitman County Planning Commission, served as a Sunday school teacher at the LaCrosse Methodist church, coached his children in youth sports, and performed in local community theater - the LaCrosse 89ers and Pullman's Summer Palace.

In 1984, Turner Broadcasting Network highlighted Tedd and the Nealey farm in the Washington state segment of "Portrait of America."

He successfully spearheaded the initiative to achieve a non-smoking ban in public places in Washington.

He also served on the Washington Wheat Growers Board, where he led in the creation of a new fee structure, establishing a profitable foundation which other farming organizations sought to mimic.

Always an active member of the Republican party, he ran for the state legislature in the 9th district and, though he lost, he was proud to have been endorsed by the Spokesman Review as the most informed candidate. Most recently, he helped form the LaCrosse Community Pride (LCP), and successfully recruited businesses to the small town to stimulate economic growth.

While his commitment to service was undeniable, it was inferior to his obsession for the game of basketball. He fostered his love for athletics in his children, each of whom excelled in their respective sports, with his sons competing in basketball at the college level. He consistently played 6 a.m. games in Pullman and Spokane, and formed Senior League teams who traveled around the world to play. Nothing gave him more pleasure than competing against former NBA stars, Olympians and college level athletes - and beating them. He was proud to have accomplished summiting Mt. Rainier and all peaks in Washington with the exception of Mt. St. Helens, which he planned to climb at the end of the month with his daughter, Tamara.

Accolades aside, Tedd was a man of tremendous faith, integrity, and dedicated his life to service and stewardship of the land. He was a valiant warrior, who fought for the causes and people he believed in. His determination, leadership, friendship and influence will forever be known and missed.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children Tamara and Troy; stepchildren Jesse, Brenna, Jeremy, Nick, Tricia and Alan; brother Terry (Jan), sister Rebecca Kekuna (Curt), former wife Teresa, and numerous grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother Evelyn Nealey, son Todd and brother Lane.

A memorial service will be held at the LaCrosse High School gymnasium on Friday, July 16, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow in the school cafeteria. Donations can be made to the LaCrosse Community Pride and Methodist Church Memorial/Benevolence Fund.

 

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