WALES — Robert A. Neal, 63, of Wales, died Thursday, April 22, peacefully at home after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on Oct. 6, 1946, the son of the late Russell and Bernice (Yeaton) Neal. He attended Fairview Elementary school and was a member of the 1965 graduating Class at Edward Little. He went on to attend Bates College and the University of Maine.
He married his high school sweetheart, Linda Higgins, Aug. 4, 1965. They spent 44 years together and raised four children.
He was an entrepreneur who spent most of his career building his company, Maine Poly Inc. He started Maine Poly in 1974, in his garage in Wales. The business grew and moved to Greene in 1980. At it’s height, Maine Poly employed 250 people throughout the area.
He and his partner, Robert Ray, sold the business in 1998. After several years, they went back to work, and Purestat Technologies was born. It thrives today in Lewiston.
He developed many patents and innovative products in the field of plastics packaging over the years. He was a pioneer in anti-static technology and worked with the military starting with the first Gulf War. He loved his work and the people he worked with, they were his second family.
He was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt, fish, snowmobile, and garden. He enjoyed his camp in Bottle Lake, up in Eastern Maine, and his annual fishing and hunting adventures to northern Quebec, Labrador, and Nunavik.
He and Linda loved to travel and were fortunate to have spent time touring the U.S., the Carribean, and Europe, often accompanied by their lifelong friends, Gail and Gary Powell.
He is survived by his wife, the former Linda Higgins of Wales; his children, Robin McFarren and her husband, Scott, of Monmouth, Scott Neal and his wife, Lynn, of Monmouth, Katherine Landry and her husband, Paul, of Wales and Rebecca Smith and her husband, Aaron, of Wales; 11 grandchildren, Courtney and Drew McFarren, Bethany, Robert, Madison, and Ethan Neal, Erynne and Alexandra Landry, Emily and Kirsten Conner, and Gabriel Smith; a brother, Russell Neal and his wife, Faye, of Wales; his sisters, Beverly Bressler and husband, Steven, of Minot and Nancy Larson and husband, Al, of Old Town; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his daughter, Erin Elizabeth Neal.