Henry W. “Hank” Neill Jr., 81, summer resident
SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Henry W. “Hank” Neill, Jr., was born on August 19, 1939, in the American Revolutionary town of Mendham, N.J., located adjacent to Jockey Hollow National Park. He was known around Mendham as “Buzz.”
Hank was a member of Boy Scout Troop One, whose leader was William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt, author of the “Boy Scout Handbook” and editor of Boys’ Life magazine. Hank’s photo often appeared in Boys’ Life modeling camping techniques. A few weeks after retiring from Active Military Service, having stated adamantly that he would never spend another night in a tent, Hank found himself once again sleeping in a GP Medium Tent at the Boy Scout 1989 National Jamboree along with “Chief” Hillcourt.
Hank held a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Villanova University, where he ran track under the legendary coach James “Jumbo” Elliott. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado. His military education included graduation from the U.S. Army Finance School, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces and National War College.
Hank Neill enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1962 and was assigned to Turkey as a cryptographer with the Army Security Agency. After achieving the rank of sergeant, he received a direct commission as a second lieutenant. Subsequent assignments took him to Vietnam, Turkey, Japan and numerous locations throughout the United States. He retired from active military service as Chief of the U.S. Finance Corps (Regiment) and Commandant of the U. S. Army Finance School. Among his military decorations Col. Neill held the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster and Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
After military service, Hank served as the Executive Vice President of the Association of Military Banks of America, where he represented the banks operating on military installations and served as a board member and Corporate Secretary of the Armed Forces Financial Network, an automated teller and debit card network serving members of the armed forces and their families worldwide.
Those who ever spoke with Hank quickly found that he did not have to kiss the Blarney Stone to acquire that “gift of gab.” He loved sharing his stories. Over the years he often told stories of how the soldiers of the Finance Unit, Army 5th Infantry Division, Mechanized, in Vietnam with their strong work ethic enabled him to have a successful military career. Hank kept his soldiers safe in Vietnam and they supported him with dedication.
Many at Elderly Services in Middlebury may remember Hank’s stories told at the classes he led.
Hank died at home in Springfield, Va., on Nov. 17, 2020. He remained Army Strong battling cancer for over 17 years. According to Hank’s wishes, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on March 17, 2021 — St. Patrick’s Day, an appropriate date for a 100% Irishman. ◊
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