Neil was born on Aug. 25, 1933, in Columbus to Mack and Grace (Mayhood) Hale. He graduated from Columbus Unified High School in 1951, later attending Baker University and Parsons Junior College.
He served in the U.S. Army and was based at Fort Hood, Texas, from 1953 to 1954.
He married Kay (Terrill) Hale on Feb. 23, 1957, in Miami, Okla.
Neil graduated from Richie School of Auctioneers in 1961. He was a very well known auctioneer in the four-state area for over 50 years. Along with auctioneering, Neil and Kay were partners with Bud and Connie Humble and together had a real estate office for 40 years in Columbus.
Neil enjoyed raising cattle and up until 2005 raised quarter horses. He donated nine colts to the 4-H horse project. He was involved with the 4-H for 45 years and loved doing all the livestock auctions.
He was a member of the American Legion, National Association of Auctioneers, American Quarter Horse Association, Kansas Association of Realtors and was a 50-year member of Prudence Masonic Lodge No. 100.
Neil’s greatest enjoyment in life was auctioneering and spending time on his farm and being with his family.
Neil is survived by his wife, Kay Hale, of the home; two daughters, Pam Hale of Galena and Jolinda Mercer of Tulsa; a brother, Steve Hale and his wife, Bev, of Columbus; a sister, Norma Carr and her husband, Bob, of Joplin; six grandchildren, Gina Chinn and her husband, Bryan, of Columbia, Mo., Gracie Helms and her husband, Jarrod, of Columbus, Gregory Winterhalter and his friend, Amanda Fadness, of Columbus, Lucretia Mercer of Columbus, Chet Mercer of Carl Junction, Mo., and Cheyanne Smith of Tulsa; two great-grandchildren, Connor Chinn and Ellie Helms; and several nieces and nephews.
Neil was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Edwina Winterhalter; and a sister, Mary Belle Cowley.
The service will be at 3 p.m. today at the Christian Church in Columbus. Dean Jessee will officiate. Burial will be in Park Cemetery with military honors. Family will receive friends Monday evening with Masonic rites at 6 p.m., with visitation to follow at Derfelt Funeral Home, Columbus. Pallbearers for the service are Gregory Winterhalter, Chet Mercer, Jarrod Helms, Bryan Chinn, Donnie Humble and Greg Winterhalter.
Memorial donations may be made to Cherokee County 4-H Horse Project in care of the funeral home.