Cover photo for Neal Eugene Linebaugh's Obituary
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1934 Neal 2022

Neal Eugene Linebaugh

September 10, 1934 — February 21, 2022

Neal Eugene Linebaugh, 87, went from his earthly home in West Branch, MI (while singing the praises of his God), to his eternal home in heaven Monday, February 21, 2022, as he “literally” reached toward the Heavens to embrace the loving and waiting arms of his precious and sweet Saviour, Jesus Christ. To his wife he is Neal, to his sons he is Dad, to his daughter in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren he is Papa, and to his church family he is brother Neal.

Neal was born September 10, 1934, in Dayton, Ohio (the youngest of 3 children) to Edward and Gertrude (Furay) Linebaugh. He grew up and lived in Dayton, Ohio until he later moved to MI. It was in 1962, in Lansing, where he met the love of his life, Zelda Lee Wardell, while they were both working for the State of MI, where Neal stayed employed and retired after 30 plus years of service. Although falling in love with each other, Zelda wasn’t necessarily happy with Neal’s behavior. Already having trusted Jesus herself and being saved (May 13, 1954), she knew it wasn’t proper to marry an unsaved man, as God’s Word clearly says not to be unequally yoked, so she embarked upon her God given mission to preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) to the man she had fallen in love with in hopes that he too, would come to the truth (all the while holding out on saying “yes” to Neal’s marriage proposals). After Zelda living and demonstrating a very real testimony for Jesus Christ, Neal began to see that she truly possessed something that he did not. Due to the preaching and power of God’s Word, Neal was convicted that he was a lost sinner, not possessing the free gift of eternal life given by Jesus Christ ALONE……...and on his way to hell. Making the most important decision of his life, Neal believed the truth of God’s Word (Romans 10:6-17) and was born again (John 3:7). To her great joy, Zelda gave to Neal a copy of God’s Word (“the ol’” KING JAMES AV1611) with the date written in it of his second (spiritual) birthday: July 26, 1963. And to Neal’s great joy, Zelda finally gave in and was able to give him the “yes” he had been longing for. Neal then gave to Zelda a copy of God’s Word with the date written in it: October 26, 1963……...their wedding day at Judson Memorial Baptist Church in Lansing!!! Thus, beginning their life together here on earth centered around and guided by the Holy Word of God.

The second place Jesus led them was to West Branch in 1967, where they began attending every service at Calvary Baptist Church. Being very hungry to learn God’s Word, Neal also spent his lunch hours being discipled by Pastor Harry Blalock. It was at Calvary that Neal must have been called by God to preach/minister unto children and to the youth (for this is what he spent the majority of his life doing). Already being a leader in the Boy Scouts, he began to teach Junior Church and took on the roll as commander for the entire Awana program. In the 1980’s, Neal became involved with the youth at Ogemaw Heights through the Music Boosters. As they approached retirement, Neal purchased property in Belleview, FL and built Zelda the brand-new home of her choice. As always, Neal continued his faithful service to his Saviour and became involved with the youth program for Pastor Lee McGinnis at Grace Baptist Church. They spent the next 14 years as official “snowbirds” spending their winters in Florida and their summers in Michigan. A lot of things transpired during this time as our Lord introduced Neal to 3 more men of God, Pastor Paul E. Heaton, Bible Baptist Church in Lupton, Pastor Tim Lambert, Secord Bible Baptist Church in Gladwin and Pastor James Knox, The Bible Baptist Church in Deland, FL. Spiritually, Neal was no longer a babe in Christ (1 Peter 2:2) but had grown and matured into a soldier in his Lord’s army (2 Timothy 2:1-4) thus God introduced him to “publick ministry.” Neal spent the remaining 22 years of his life as a “street preacher,” preaching and proclaiming the gospel of his Saviour, Jesus Christ, in many states and in Mexico.

Neal had a lot of interests in this life and enjoyed doing many things and making a lot of precious memories, not just with his family but with everybody he knew……to be truthful, there was really never a dull moment! Neal was a “people person” and loved being around people. There were years and years and years of camping, canoeing, snowmobiling, and fishing trips (so many fond memories that will never be forgotten)! We believe his favorite thing to do was fish (for he did it his entire life, everywhere he went, freshwater, saltwater, and what he called “stiff” water, better known as “ice fishing”). Most people refer to it as “fishing”, but he referred to it as “yanking”. He learned to fish from his dad as a very young boy and passed it on to his sons and grandchildren (everybody fishes because of Papa). We believe his unwavering faithfulness to serving and loving Jesus started with…...Neal’s love for fishing! In Mark 1:17 the first 4 men that Jesus chooses are simple fisherman, and there’s nothing that Neal loved more than becoming a “fisher of men” (winning souls to Jesus Christ). So, it didn’t matter what he did or where he went…...Neal was fishing for souls!!! He enjoyed working, painting, bowling, gardening, jigsaw puzzles, hunting for shark teeth, feeding and watching the birds, reading and memorizing his King James AV1611 Bible, listening to preaching and old hymns of the faith, faithfully attending all of the churches listed above and supporting each and every one of those God called, God made preachers, fellowshipping with God’s people, and traveling (seeing most of our states’ national parks). He and Zelda spent years taking most of their grandchildren to many of our nation’s sights and wonders. Neal also served in the Navy Reserve in Great Lakes, IL in 1953. All who really knew him can agree with us in saying……Neal, Dad, Papa, brother Neal: YOU HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT, YOU HAVE FINISHED YOUR COURSE, YOU HAVE KEPT THE FAITH: (2 Timothy 4:7).

Neal is very greatly missed and cherished in memory by his wife, Zelda, sons, Neal (Charlotte) Linebaugh, Jr. of OH, Timothy (Wendy, deceased) Linebaugh of AK, and Brian (Jaemi) Linebaugh of West Branch, along with (their children) his grandchildren Nolan Linebaugh of AZ, Brianna Linebaugh of West Branch, Naeomi (Boone) DeShano and great-grandson Tobiah of Gladwin, Anna Linebaugh and great-granddaughter Raylin of West Branch, Titus Linebaugh of NJ, Noah Linebaugh of AZ, Jonah Linebaugh of AZ, Elijah Linebaugh of West Branch, Eden Linebaugh of West Branch, Heaven Linebaugh of West Branch, and Uriah Linebaugh of West Branch, first born grandson Cameron Linebaugh of Flushing, and several nieces and nephews.

Neal is preceded in death by his parents, brother Dale (Ethel) Linebaugh of OH, sister Kathleen (Donald) Flagg of OH, and great grand-daughter Mercy DeShano of Gladwin.

A celebration of his life service will be held at the Bible Baptist Church, 3338 Main Street, Lupton, MI 48635 on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 10:00 AM.

For memorial contributions we ask you to consider WMSD 90.9 FM (Bible Baptist Church Radio Station Ministry), 2906 E. Heath Rd., Lupton, MI 48635, Secord Bible Baptist Church Tract Ministry, 2507 Three Rivers Rd., Gladwin, MI 48624, and Bearing Precious Seed (Bible Press), 1902 E. Cavanaugh Rd., Lansing, MI 48910.

We would very much like you to share your memories, testimonies, or condolences with us online at www.steuernolmclaren.com. or to the family by mail. We want to very sincerely thank all who loved Neal and had a part in his life here on earth. Isn’t it wonderful and comforting to know (1 John 5:11-13 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) that we don’t have to say goodbye to our saved loved ones, but thanks be to God……ALL WHO ARE SAVED will spend eternity TOGETHER with our sweet and loving Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord!!! (John 14:1-6 and 1 Corinthians 2:9).

Arrangements are being handled by Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch, MI.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Neal Eugene Linebaugh, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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