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Former GV columnist dead at 76

Former South Boston resident and Gazette-Virginian columnist Charles Dow “Charlie” Neece of Forest died Monday at the age of 76.

A retired trainmaster with Norfolk-Southern Railroad, Neece wrote a column for The Gazette-Virginian for 10 years.

He was an avid outdoorsman and talented marksman, winning the Virginia State Skeet Championship in 1976. Neece loved duck hunting and had a hunting cabin in Grayson County that served as his second home.

He was a member of Ducks Unlimited, Sportsman Club of Halifax County and Halifax County Gun Club.

Neece was a 30-year member of Main Street United Methodist Church in South Boston before becoming a member of Mountain View United Methodist Church when he moved to Forest. 

A veteran of the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, Neece was a member of the American Legion and served as Lions Club Virginia Sight First chairman.

Neece is survived by his wife of 54 years, Betty Nell Hodges Neece; two daughters, Bridgett Dow Pascale and husband Joe of Forest, Holly Hodges Newton and husband Tommy of Scottsburg; one son, Ned Irvin Neece and wife Ginger of Marietta, Georgia; six grandchildren, Joe Dow, Blake and Reed Pascale, McCoy Newton and Ethan and Emily Neece. Also surviving are two sisters, Merle Hash and husband Peyton of Roanoke and Chesley Wiger and husband Les of Cumming, Georgia.

A celebration of the life of Charlie Neece will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday at Mountain View United Methodist Church in Forest.

Interment will be at 1 p.m. Friday in Mt. Ephriam United Methodist Church Cemetery in Crockett.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 tonight at Tharp Funeral Home in Lynchburg.