John “Jack” Hartshorn Neal

PORTLAND – John “Jack” Hartshorn Neal. In gratitude for his colorful and most eventful life of 87 years, the family of John Hartshorn Neal of Oxford, solemnly announces his passing on Friday, April 5, 2019 at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, following a brief illness.

Born in Portland, Ore. on Aug. 8, 1931 to Asa Ira Hartshorn and Helena Marcella Shade Hartshorn, John moved to Washington, D.C. in 1939 in a most unusual way. His mother Marcella was appointed to head FDR’s White House Library when the call came to report to Washington immediately. Staying behind with their grandmother, Ocie, Marcella’s two sons, John and Tom, age 8 and 6 respectively, later boarded a train from Oregon to the nation’s capital with only the train personnel and young John, of 8 years, to supervise the pair from west to east coast! John was given the last name of Neal when the boys were adopted by their mother’s second husband, Andrew Jackson Neal in 1941. He changed his middle name from Alfred to Hartshorn in 1976 to honor his father Asa and was known professionally as “Jack Neal.”

After attending Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School (BCC) in Bethesda, Md., John served in the U.S. Navy from 1949 to 1952, receiving the European Occupation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. At discharge he was serving as a radarman aboard the USS Salem. He graduated from Boston University in 1955 with a B.S. in business administration, concentrating in mathematics and statistics. Shortly thereafter, he joined North American Aviation as a Reliability Engineer and was later promoted to Program Development Manager.

His career was spent primarily in the D.C. area where he built consulting firms, applying his knowledge of congressional and federal agency objectives on behalf of clients marketing information technology to the federal government. He formed Automated Systems Corporation in 1968 and sold the company in 1973. He joined Arthur Young & Co. as a director in 1974. He formed the AIH Systems Group, Inc. in 1977, continuing as a consultant after it was sold in 2001. In 2006 he founded the highly successful Deepwater Point LLC.

Beginning in 2001, John developed a special advisory relationship with SafeNet, Inc. Close friendships with company executives and their families ensued, and those friendships stayed strong after John’s retirement and the rest of his years.

John was an adventurous man who loved to travel. He especially welcomed opportunities to travel with his children. In 2007, following the sale of Deepwater Point, LLC, John and his partner, Linda, traveled around the world on the QE2. Their Thompson Lake home is filled with mementos of their many trips.

In his younger days, John was often found hunting ducks and geese on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. An avid fisherman he once took a break for a few months and worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska. He loved seafood and never missed an opportunity to eat lobster, oysters and scallops. Many of his birthday celebrations were enjoyed at lobster bakes.

Part Hemingway and part General Patton, John was a one-man, dynamo whose instant imprint on people was unforgettable. He was charged like a lightning bolt – exciting, daring and never boring.

Upon retirement, John made a tranquil home with Linda on Thompson Lake in Oxford. He loved the Maine surroundings and would often say it reminded him of Oregon. He joined the Oxford Hills Bridge Club and developed many warm friendships there. John also was a zealous cribbage player, always peppering his opponents with endless repartee.

John was particularly proud of his Hartshorn heritage. At the end of the first century the Hartshorns came from Saxony, Germany to remove the Roman army from England. John was a tenth generation descendant of Thomas Hartshorn who emigrated in 1635 from Reading, England to the Port of Lynn, Mass. where he petitioned the colony court for inland habitation of four square miles, called “Lynn Village” and in 1644, incorporated the town as Reading, after his native England home. Today, the area is known as Wakefield. John twice visited the town of Hartshorn, England, Darbieshire County, Sherwood Forest and was an active participant in Hartshorn family reunions. He belonged to both The Sons of the American Revolution and The Sons of Colonial New England. In 2003, John and his brother, Tom, published the second edition of the Hartshorn Genealogy, extending the descendants of Asa Ira Hartshorn through the twenty-first century.

John is survived by his partner of 24 years, Linda E. Smith; his daughters, Anita Marie Neal Doucette of Harwich, Mass., Karin Marcella Neal Doyle of Sutton, Mass., and Alexandra Hartshorn Neal-Saá of Alexandria, Va., his sons, Andrew Joseph Neal of Maine, Bruce Alfred Neal of Bethesda, Md., Christopher Carter Neal of Midway, Utah, Kevin Hall Neal of Kilmarnock, Va., and the late John Alfred Neal II; his brother, Col. Thomas Augustine Neal USAF Fighter Pilot of McLean, Va.; and 19 grandchildren; plus 22 great-grandchildren. His exuberance is deeply missed as John was deeply loved by many.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on June 1, at St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 32 Paris St., Norway, ME 04268. To share memories and online condolences with the family; please go to

Those who wish to honor John’s memory may contribute to the

Thompson Lake Environmental Association,

P.O. Box 25,

Oxford, ME 04270.

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