Long-time industry stalwart Sam Neese Jr. passed away unexpectedly March 4 during surgery at Tampa General Hospital. He was 76.

Neese, born Nov. 26, 1937, served in the U.S. Army in the late 1950s and was afforded a military funeral with Sumter County Honor Guard and special representatives of the U.S. Army attending.

Neese began his HVAC career in 1959 with union Local 725 in Miami, a plumbing and pipefitters union. His passion quickly shifted to HVAC, especially on the commercial/industrial side. He was responsible for overseeing many large projects, including Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida; Orange County Civic Center in Orlando, Florida; and the Gaylord Hotels locations in Orlando and Houston.

“Needless to say, he dedicated his life to this profession and worked right up until the week of his passing,” said son, Bud Neese.

Sam Neese was a member of Wahoo Baptist Church in Bushnell, Florida, and a member of the VFW and American Legion in Lake Panasofkee, Florida.

He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Vicki; son Bud (Ami) Neese; daughters Roxanne Neese and Trish (Dale) Pringle; brother Leslie Neese; and sister Linda Neese.

Publication date: 6/23/2014