top banner

Obituary Listings

Extending a Family Tradition

William E. Neeley, MD

September 6, 1941 December 23, 2017
William E. Neeley, MD
There are condolences waiting approval on William's Tribute wall
Obituary for William E. Neeley, MD

Dr. William Earl Neeley died peacefully at his home in Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 following a long illness. He was 76.

He is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 40 years, Andrena; his stepdaughter Andrena (Michael) Jeffrey; his stepson David (Jennifer) Jennings; his sons William L. (Daniela) Neeley and Thomas (Daniel Paepke) Neeley; his daughter Margaret (Brian) Schroeder; and nine grandchildren.

He was a model airplane hobbyist and a world traveler. He recalled with great enthusiasm his trips to many parts of Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia. He treasured, above all, the winters he spent skiing with his family in Lake Tahoe.

He retired in 2013, concluding a 45 year career in clinical pathology and laboratory medicine. From 2001 until his retirement, he served as the medical director at the Detroit Medical Center University Laboratories and was a faculty member in the Department of Pathology at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Mich.

The author of over 70 scholarly articles, abstracts, monographs and other published pieces and an innovator holding numerous patents, he was a recognized expert and pioneer in his field for introducing barcoded laboratory samples and developing new automation solutions to improve efficiency and reduce errors in the clinical laboratory.

He was born in 1941 in Joplin, Mo., the son of Melvin Earl Neeley and Susan Margaret Neeley (nee Moeller) of Galena, Kan. His father, a World War I veteran, owned a DeSoto-Plymouth dealership and garage and served at one time as the town mayor. His mother was a teacher and daughter of a former mayor. An only child, he was doted on by his aunts and uncles.

An Eagle Scout and valedictorian of his Galena High School class, he earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry with honors from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. in 1963 followed by his M.D. from University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1967. He completed his internship and residency at Case Western Reserve University, where he also earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering.

Following his residency, he served four years in the U.S. Army as a pathologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After the army, he moved to San Diego, Calif. There he met his wife in 1977 while working together at Mercy Hospital. They married in 1978 and raised a family of five children and one dalmatian.

Over his career he held various clinical laboratory positions, including at University Hospital in San Diego, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Diego and New Haven, Conn., and in private industry in Silicon Valley. He took great pleasure in training the next generation of physicians as an associate professor of pathology with tenure at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine from 1979 to 1989 and at Yale University School of Medicine from 1989 to 1992. In 2011, he was awarded the Resident Faculty Award for Clinical Pathology by residents at Wayne State University School of Medicine in recognition of his “expertise, compassion, goodwill and devotion to excellence in clinical teaching.”

The family will be receiving friends for a visitation on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Potere-Modetz Funeral Home, 339 Walnut Blvd., Rochester, MI 48307. A funeral mass followed by the burial will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 in the chapel at Holy Cross Cemetery, 4470 Hilltop Drive, San Diego, CA 92102.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to KU Endowment, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Mail Stop 3012, Kansas City, KS 66160, to benefit the KU Medical Alumni Scholarship, Allocation #10929. Online contributions may be made at Please indicate that donations are for the “William E. Neeley, MD ‘67 Memorial.” The KU Endowment will notify the family of gifts received in his memory.

Previous Events





6:00 PM 1/3/2018 6:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 1/3/2018 9:00:00 PM
Potere-Modetz Funeral Home

339 Walnut Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48307

Potere-Modetz Funeral Home
339 Walnut Boulevard Rochester 48307 MI
United States

Graveside Service




10:30 AM 1/6/2018 10:30:00 AM
Holy Cross Cemetery

4470 Hilltop Drive
San Diego, California 92102

Holy Cross Cemetery
4470 Hilltop Drive San Diego 92102 California
United States

Memorial Contribution

KU Endowment

3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mail Stop 3012
Kansas City, Kansas 66160

Create new album
Subscribe To Obituaries

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
William E. Neeley, MD

Thank you for sharing your
memory of William

Provide comfort by sending fresh
flowers from our local florist.

Send Flowers
No thanks, please don't show me this again.