David George Neusel, 60, passed away peacefully at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, in St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville of heart and kidney failure due to a virus that settled in, and weakened, his heart about two years ago. He was admitted to Tennova Turkey Creek hospital on Friday, Oct. 11, and airlifted to St. Thomas West on Monday, Oct. 21.
David was born in Detroit, Mich., on Feb. 3, 1953. He moved to Oak Ridge in 1970 with his parents, Edward B. (“Big Ed”) and Mary (“Ginger”); older brother, Edward H. (“Eddie”); and younger brother, Paul C., to open Big Ed’s Pizza located at 101 Broadway Ave.
David had many interests throughout his school years, including Boy Scouts, football, wrestling, skydiving, camping, snow skiing, photography, karate, and swimming. He also became a gunsmith and horse farrier. According to his maternal aunt, Bobbie Bostick, of Lawrence, Kansas, David excelled in every activity he participated in, but swimming competitively was his primary focus. He was in the Rocket City Aquatic Club in Huntsville, Ala., prior to moving to Oak Ridge and joined the Atomic City Aquatic Club, and his best event was the breast stroke. He won a breast stroke race during the Southeastern Regional swim meet. This event was retired, so his winning time will always stand.
He graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1971 and attended Middle Tennessee State University. However, rather than be drafted, he left MTSU and enlisted in the Navy in 1974. During the next six years, he served as a machinist mate on the U.S.S. LaSalle, Guam, and South Carolina. However, because he was so military minded, he returned to the Naval Reserve in 1990 and served for another three years as a SeaBee engineer. [Read more…]