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2013-07-25 digital edition

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2013-07-25 / Obituaries

Leo Neal Namken

August 1, 1933 - July 14, 2013

Dr. Leo Neal Namken, PhD, of Weslaco, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 14, 2013 after a long illness. He was 79 years old. He was born on August 1, 1933 in Giddings, Texas. Neal grew up in Giddings and graduated from Giddings High School in 1952. While in high school, he was the co-captain of the 1951 Giddings High School football team which won the state championship. After high school he attended Texas A&M University in College Station where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy.

He also studied at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he earned a Master of Science degree. Upon graduation, he moved to Weslaco where he worked for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service from 1958 to 1992.

While there he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas A&M University in 1970. While at the USDA, he was a Research Leader in Soil and Water Conservation. Upon retirement from the USDA, he worked at the Texas A&M Experiment Station in Weslaco from 1992 through 1997 performing cotton research.

Neal married Miriam Tate in 1955 in Giddings. They were happily married for almost 58 years. Neal loved sports and was an avid Texas Aggies and Houston Astros fan. Over the course of his life, he enjoyed golf, tennis, fishing and hunting. While his children were growing up, he was active in the Weslaco Panther Booster Club and a coach for the

Weslaco Little League. Professionally, Neal was a member of the American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society, and the Beltwide Cotton Conference. He also served as an Elder of First Presbyterian Church in Weslaco.

Neal is survived by his spouse Miriam; daughters Sandra Mooney (Frank) of Friendswood, Shana Lazarine (Cliff) of Allen; son James Namken (Hope) of Houston; brother Calvin Namken (Emily) of Mission, Texas and sister-in-law Mildred Namken of Bastrop; his granddaughter Miriam Mooney of College Station, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives.

Neal was preceded in death by his parents, Rudolf and Aurora Namken, and brother Royce Namken.

A funeral service was held at First Presbyterian Church at 10:30 am, on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. Officiating the service was the Rev. David McCann, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Weslaco. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 706 S. Iowa, Weslaco, Texas 78596 or the charity of your choice.

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