Neilson E. Eney Jr, Lieutenant USN (Retired)

Neil Eney

Neil on Deck


Neil on Watch

Neil was born in Seattle, Washington on February 21st, 1938.  He graduated from Lake Washington High School in 1956.  The day Neil graduated from high school, he and a friend went to the Navy recruiting office and enlisted.  His 20 year Naval career took him to bases in New England, Virginia, California, and finally Hawaii.  He served on five different destroyers during his military career which included three West-Pac cruises during the Vietnam War..  His specialty was that of Sonarman. He moved from the enlisted class ranks to officer during his time in the service.  Neil served on the staff of the Commander of Oceanographic System Pacific, a recently declassified program to place microphones throughout the Pacific Ocean for monitoring Soviet submarines. Neil retired from the Navy as a lieutenant in 1976.  One of Neil’s Navy pals said of him, “He was technically proficient in every way, he was a leader among all enlisted and officers, he was respected as an ethical person, and he was a good ship driver (Officer of the Deck, aka O.D.).  Neil could be counted on to do his very best every day in every way.”


While stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, Neil was introduced to his future wife, Page.  As they both lived in the same apartment complex, the manager of the complex knocked on Page’s door one night and said, “You have to meet this Navy officer who lives downstairs.”  Page replied with, “No thank you, not interested.”  The manager eventually persuaded her to meet him saying, “Come on, this guy is different.” Somewhat reluctantly, she followed the manager downstairs and they knocked on his door.  One of Neil’s roommates answered, as Neil was in the kitchen cooking dinner at the time. His willingness to take on cooking duties admittedly made a very good first impression on Page.  They chatted for a bit, until Neil and his Navy roommates had to leave for an event back on the ship.  As he left the apartment that night he turned to his shipmates and said, “I’m going to marry that girl!” They laughed good-naturedly but his declaration was in earnest.  Neil courted Page for the next two weeks until he proposed to her on the 26th of June. Six months later on the 26th of November, they were married. Page and Neil would have celebrated 43 years of loving marriage this November 26th, 2012.


After retiring from the Navy in June of 1976, Neil returned to the Seattle area. With assistance from the Vietnam Era GI Bill, he attended the University of Washington.  He graduated cum laude in 1980, achieving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  At university, the technical skills he acquired in the Navy led Neil to specialize in what was then a brand new field, business computing. Upon graduating, he went to work for Sundstrand Data Corporation, an avionics manufacturer famous for their “Black Boxes”. In 1987 he went to Boeing where he worked as a system administrator in support of Boeing Phantom Works and other defense and space based projects. Neil retired from Boeing in 2005.


It took a few years for Neil to become comfortable with retirement, but eventually he settled in to an enjoyable lifestyle where he focused his time on playing golf as much as possible, enjoying time with his family, and visiting with his friends at the local Starbucks. In the last few years if you were looking for Neil, he would be on the golf course, at Starbucks, tinkering in his garage or volunteering his time to help non-profits maintain their computer systems. He was not afraid of embracing the most recent technological wonders.


Neil was always a generous and loving man. People couldn’t help themselves, they all fell in love with him.   His beautiful smile stayed with him even during the last year, which was very challenging for him as he valiantly fought his lung cancer diagnosis.


Some of Neil’s favorite sayings were:

Peachy Keen or Hanging in there: his answer when you asked how he was doing, even during his final days

“Hanging in There”


Bob’s your uncle – which roughly translates to ‘and there you have it…’


Page made sure to tell Neil that since they were engaged on the 26th and married on the 26th, she really didn’t want him going anywhere on the 26th. Being the thoughtful man that he was, he took his last breaths at 12:02AM on October 27th.


Neil was preceded in death by his father, Neilson E. Eney Sr, and his mother Irene Marie Fleetham. He is survived by his brother Renald Eney (Ginette),  sister Arlene Ritzhaupt, sister Grace Lawrence (Jerry), brother James Eney (Janet), brother Tom Eney and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins including a large extended family on our mother’s side in Virginia. Additionally, he is survived by his beloved wife Page Eney and two children, Neilson P. Eney (Stacy Rosevear) and Crystal L. Eney (Bruce MacKenzie).


We would like to express a heartfelt thank you to his devoted oncologist, Dr. Ahmed. She did everything in her power to help Dad fight his battle with cancer.   She and her staff, and the people at Evergreen Hospice were truly remarkable individuals, we are so thankful for their kindness and care in working with Dad.


Neil was an active member of his church, a proud veteran, an avid golfer, an adoring and beloved husband, and a proud father of his two children.  He will be missed by so many people. You touched our hearts Neil, and those of so many more. We love you.


The memorial service for Neil shall be held on Veteran’s Day, Sunday, November 11th, 2012,  3pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Kirkland, Washington.    A smaller internment service at Tahoma National Cemetery will follow at a later date.


To honor Neil’s generous spirit, a scholarship in his name has been established to help veteran’s attend the University of Washington in Computer Science & Engineering or Electrical Engineering. Tax-deductible donations can be made at:

Checks for the scholarship can also be made out to the UW Foundation with Neil E. Eney in the memo line.Addressed to:

Karen Howard Leikin
UW – College of Engineering
371 Loew Hall – Box 352180
Seattle, WA 98195-2180

The internment at Tahoma National Cemetery will be on Friday, 11/23/12 at 11:15 AM. Attendees should arrive early

33 Responses to “Neilson E. Eney Jr, Lieutenant USN (Retired)”

  • Tina Davis says:

    What a wonderful write-up of Neil’s life. We are so fortunate to have known Neil. He was a true friend and an inspiration to all who knew him. Our love and condolences to Page, Neilson, and Crystal.

  • Lin Sullam says:

    What a beautiful tribute! I have tears in my eyes.

  • Scot Wright says:

    Neil was a remarkable guy in every way and so generous in spirit. He inspired us on many levels. I know I will be hearing “peachy keen” in my thoughts and always smiling because of it. We’ll miss you Neil!

  • Phil Magallanes says:

    Neil and I lead the PC Club and later worked together on WordPress websites. Neil was a great source of technical knowledge. I will miss him greatly.

  • Kathy Dill says:

    I love the story of how Page and Neil first met. When we met Neil,a little over a year ago, he told us how he knew she was the one as soon as they met. We could tell that after more than 40 years he still felt the same way. What a loving tribute to Page and their family. He truly lived a happy life. Now that’s “peachy keen”!

  • The Rev. Beverly Hosea says:

    Page, what a wonderful tribute to your husband. We at Emmanuel, Mercer Island, continue to hold you all in our prayers and in our hearts. May you know our Lord’s love and comfort during these days of absorbing this tremendous loss.

  • mike vidos says:

    Neil was the epitomy of a true professional as a Naval Officer, family man and true friend.
    Fair Winds and Calm Seas Mate From a “solidier of the sea”.

  • Phyllis Matoff says:

    I can’t help but think how lucky you were to have had him in your life. We are very sad at loosing such a terrific person. What a story….

  • Mary E. Pacher says:

    A beautiful testimony to a wonderful man. Your family is close to our hearts, and in our prayers.

  • Douglas Harvey says:

    Beautifully done tribute to Neil–Debbie and I send our thoughts and prayers to you all.

  • Phil Coady says:

    Neil, you were one of the best supporters of our Trilogy Veterans Club. You were always ready to support our poppy drives for Veterans. I was pleased and honored that your supported our Club by being part of our Leadership team two years ago. As in the sea services when a shipmate leaves his unit, we often say “see you after one more turn of the helm” I know Fair winds and following seas are with you Neal! Well done!!

  • Gary Johnson says:

    May the sun always be in your face and wind at your back! Good sailing friend!

  • Jeanne Hess says:

    What a beautiful tribute to Neil. I will always remember his smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with your whole family.

  • Jeanne Hess says:

    What a wonderful tribute to Neil. I will always remember his smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with your whole family.

  • Arlene Eney Ritzhaupt says:

    You were a good big brother. I’ll never forget our feast of crawdads you caught for us and we cooked in an old coffee can in the woods, when there was no food as a child. The blessings of having a good life with a loving family were all yours.
    Rest your oars sailor.
    Love you!

  • Becky & Rick DuFour says:

    What a loving tribute to a wonderful man. Page, Neilson, Stacy, Crystal, and Bruce, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you. We are certain Neil is smiling down. Rest in peace, cousin – we love you.

  • Paul & Kendra Harvey says:

    A very fine tribute. May the peace of the Lord be with you always.

  • Paul & Kendra Harvey says:

    A very fine tribute. May the peace of the Lord be with you all.

  • Becky & Tom Tweedy says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, and we wish we could be with you in person to share a big “Virginia hug” at this special time. Much love, always.

  • Dan Dowdy says:

    Neil was everything you guys said so eloquently and beautifully in this obituary. For almost 43 years, he was one of my best friends. He has one of the greatest families I know–they’re all like family to my wife and to me. One thing you forgot to mention that he did in his “spare time”–he kept that garage floor spotless!

    I miss Neil–especially his wonderful sense of humor. We enjoyed many laughs together, along with his family, and I cherish every one of those memories. Now the angels can chuckle at his wit!

  • Jim Riordan says:

    I feel lucky and blessed to have know Neil even if it was only for a short time. May God rest his soul and bring comfort to you. We will remember him in our prayers.

    With sympathy,
    Jim & Sandy Riordan

  • Karen Sjostrom says:

    Neil had a special place in my heart, as it was he who showed me the ropes of being a Lay Eucharistic Minister(as he also taught me to be serious but not too solemn). Page, you have a special place in my heart also. You two were a couple to be admired and emulated. I am grateful to you both for your friendship.

  • Joan Dowdy says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man! Page,you and Neil, along with your lovely children, are some of our most cherished friends. Even though thousands of miles have separated us for most of the 43 years we have known you, it has not lessened the bond we feel with you and your family. We cherish all the memories we have from our days in Hawaii to your visits to Virginia and ours to Seattle. Our hearts go out to you at this difficult time. We miss and will always remember our kind, fun loving, and generous friend, Neil, and we look forward to getting together with you again in the near future to share our stories and love for Neil.

  • Terry Van Meter says:

    Neil was my supervisor (Sonar Officer) when I served aboard the USS Davidson (DE 1045) in 1968 and 1969. His leadership was a tribute to the long standing tradition of Naval Officers. He was highly respected by his men because he treated them with respect. I was eager to work for him and honored to work under his guidance. I was also fortunate to visit with him more recently in the home and community he loved.

  • MaryLue Gutow says:

    Sending prayers of comfort to you and your family. You and Neil were so blessed in life with family and community because you two were always reaching out to help in whatever way possible. Now it is our turn to comfort you.

  • Kevin Shyne says:

    Neil was my golf partner and most of all my friend. I will miss his smiling face and our time together on the golf course and at Starbucks. Rest in peace my friend.

  • Denny birk says:

    Dear Eney Family,
    On behalf of myself and others fron Neil’s care team at Pac Med I would just like to say thank you for letting us care for Neil over the past difficult months. All of you, and especially Neil will be fondly remembered for a long time to come. He was a remarkable man. It was my privilege to know him. Thanks to you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Denny Birk, oncology infusion pharmacist

  • Carla Vancheri says:

    I’m so grateful that I got to know Neil when he came in to the Starbucks on Redmond Ridge. We all looked forward to seeing him every day. I will never forget Neil. My thoughts are with his family.

  • jerry moore says:

    i lost track of neil from high school days at lake washington but remember him as very well liked and admired by every one.

  • […] A summary of Neil’s life appears here. […]

  • Diana Rall says:

    What an inspiring life! I’m so touched by the enduring love of Neil and Page. I was privileged to know Neil; and it’s true, he was a lovely, generous, warm-hearted individual.

  • Diana Rall says:

    What a wonderful man! It was a privilege to know Neil. I’m touched by the enduring love he and Page shared.

  • Sue Beall Smith says:

    I only saw Neil once since graduation and that was at our 50th class reunion. My husband and and I sat at the same table with Neil.. It was so good to see him again and to hear about his life. He was always a kind and gentle person. I just happened to look up our alum. page and saw that he had passed. May your memories of a wonderful husband and father comfort you.

Leave a Reply

Please be respectful. Disrespectful comments will not be published

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE