June 7, 1922 – January 20, 2018
Niel was born in Cataldo, Idaho on June 7, 1922 and passed away on Jan. 20, 2018 at his home in Spokane, Wash. at the age of 95. Niel was born in his family home as were three of his brothers. His parents were William and Hilda Wright. He went to school and graduated from Kingston High School. Shortly after graduation, he married and then joined the service. He served in Germany in World War II. They had three children Terry, Barbara and Jacqueline (Keeta). The family moved to Othello, Wash. in 1952 and Niel worked construction on the Columbia Basin Project, bringing the first irrigation to the Basin. In 1957, he went to work for the city of Othello.
In 1963, Niel married Patricia and gained three stepchildren Russell, Lawana and Jeff. Niel became Othello Fire Chief in 1968. During this time, he also became a rescue diver and an EMT on the ambulance crew. He retired in 1982. Niel and Pat moved to Oroville, Wash. for a short time and then to Spokane, Wash. where they lived at the time of his death.
Niel is preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, son, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children Barbara (Larry), Jacqueline (Dannie), Russell, Lawana (Rod) and Jeff (Joni); 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; 28 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild. He also has numerous nieces, nephews and cousins who love him dearly.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. at Opportunity Christian Church 708 N. Pines Rd., Spokane Valley, Wash. with a coffee and fellowship gathering at the Pilgrim Lutheran Church following the service. A graveside service to follow reception in Othello, Wash. at 2 p.m. at Bess Hampton Memorial Gardens.