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 Marion Robert Neely

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Marion Robert Neely

  • Birth 7 Dec 1923 Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana, USA
  • Death 31 May 2003 Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa, USA
  • Burial Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa, USA
  • Memorial ID 81823878

His name Marion follows Scots Irish tradition, and as first born son, is for his paternal Grandfather. But, his middle name caused family controversy and is not from his maternal side. It is for 'Fighting Bob La Follette,' a well known Republican Senator from Wisconsin at the time of his birth.

He was born in a hospital in Billings, Montana, while his parents were living and working on his Mother's parents farm, in nearby Park City. This cooperation broke off, and his parents has moved to Mount Pleasant, Iowa by 1925. His father joined John Deere Plow Company on May 1, 1928, and was based in Iowa Falls, Iowa while Marion was growing up.

Marion remembered summers on and in the Iowa River, them cutting ice in the winter, and eventually learning and playing Tennis. He also remembered always being the youngest in his classes at school, as the rules at the time placed you based on the calendar year you were born. Being a December birthday made him the youngest. He remembered in high school, of many people turning out for a high school play, that featured him and a female classmate in what he recalled as the first kiss on stage in Iowa Falls High School history.

He graduated from Iowa Falls High School, class of 1941.

Well after his children were grown, Marion added stories about hitch hiking from Iowa Falls to Clear Lake to listen and dance to bands like Glenn Miller's at the Surf Ballroom.

But, his most memorable story about growing up, was of getting ready for his 18th Birthday Dinner and cake, listening to music on the radio, when the announcement breaks in to say that the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor. Since he loved the Big Band sound, I wonder if it was Sammy Kaye's “Sunday Serenade" on NBC's Red Network, which started at 1PM Central Time. It is documented as being just before the Pearl Harbor announcement aired.

Marion continued at Elsworth Junior College for the 1941/42 year, and I believe the Fall of 1942. He says he tried to apply for the Marines in December of 1942, but the services had just stopped applications for specific branches. He then says he volunteered in January 1943 to the Hardin County (Iowa Falls) Draft Board for service. By the end of January, he was on his way for Basic Training. His service included time in the A.S.T.P. (Army Specialized Training Program) at the University of Wyoming and the University of Iowa. But, he eventually requested a transfer from the program, which was granted in the Fall of 1943. He then underwent Military Police training, and by January 1st, 1944, he was on board the Queen Elizabeth, in New York Harbor, ready to depart for Scotland.

His overseas service started in England, with Military Police units and included directing traffic and leading convoys to their D-Day embarkation sites, followed by leading convoys with returning wounded to hospitals. This continued until high casualty rates at the Battle of the Bulge, drove demand for replacements. While he recalled transferring through Omaha Beach in January, 1945, it seems like it must have been the Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches, France, as that was the only remaining one in January. He joined the 94th Infantry Division's Military Police Platoon, staying with them through the end of the war, and also their service in Czechoslovakia. He returned to the US, exactly 2 years after departure, on January 2nd, 1946. He was discharged and was in business classes at the University of Iowa by the end of January.

He earned a varsity letter, in Tennis and received has BSc-Commerce from the University of Iowa in 1948. He started work at John Deere, encouraged to by friends of his father's, who had died suddenly the year before, being the Service Manager at corporate headquarters. He rose to be a very successful territory manager in Mason City. But he had developed a desire to be a lawyer in the military, and despite being married, and his wife pregnant with their first child, he started Law School at the University of Iowa, in the Fall of 1956, moving into a Quonset hut in Quonset Park, which was married student housing at the time. He graduated with his J.D., in 1959.

He joined the staff of the Iowa Attorney General in June of 1949, where he was made the Assistant Attorney General in charge of all criminal matters for the State of Iowa, including being the one assigned to handle all of the criminal appeals before the Iowa Supreme Court, the United States Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

He returned to Iowa City in 1961, first joining a small law firm, but soon striking out on his own. He continued in private practice until his death, occupying the same office on the NW corner of the 5th floor, of the Iowa State Bank Building.

Family Members





  • Created by: Bob Neely
  • Added: 11 Dec 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 81823878
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marion Robert Neely (7 Dec 1923–31 May 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 81823878, citing Oakland Cemetery, Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Bob Neely (contributor 47422388) .