Neil Douglas Jr. Obit

Neil Douglas Blue of the Birmingham area died on October 17, 2023. Mr. Blue was born in Washington County Florida and moved to Pensacola, Florida during his high school years. He attended Pensacola High School where he was an honor student, president of both the Key Club and National Honor Society and participated in local schoolboy athletics. Mr. Blue loved music from country and western to classical. His Pensacola High School quartet and his solo performances rated superior in Florida State competition in both his Junior and Senior high school years.

Mr. Blue graduated from Tulane University where he made the Dean’s List, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Social Fraternity, a member of the Pershing Rifles and a Commander of a unit of the Army ROTC at Tulane. He completed graduate work at Pennsylvania. State University in Management. He was a Commissioned Army Officer and a veteran of the Korean War where he served as a Special Agent with the Counterintelligence Corps.

He was employed by Vitro Services Corporation in Fort Walton Beach as-Personnel Manager for Vitro in managing the Eglin Gulf Test Range. He was moved with Vitro to Huntsville Alabama and worked as Administrative Manager in development of the SV-5 rocket system for the NASA Test Laboratory. Mr. Blue was then employed by UAB where he served as an Executive Administrator for both the University Hospital and the Health Services Foundation until his retirement.

He was a member of the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, North Shelby County. He was a Mason, and a member of the Kiwanis Club, The Club, the Relay House, and other professional organizations including the MGMA. He had a special interest in the handicapped and was recognized by the Governors’ Committees in both Florida and Alabama for his work in assisting the handicapped in obtaining work. He served in leadership roles at UAB in United Way and blood drives.

Mr. Blue was predeceased by his father, Neil Douglas Blue; mother, Ovie McFatter Blue; and daughter, Debra Ann Blue. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Justice Blue; daughters, Brenda S. Blue (Mark Froehlich), Kelley Manning (Dewayne); son, Patrick Bass (Casey); grandchildren Misty Blue Phillips (Bryan), Kristen Blue Granados (Miguel), Anastasia DuVal-Yonnetti (Joseph), Madelyn and Emma Katherine Manning, Connor and Hannah Joy Bass; great grandchildren, Macie and Hudson Phillips, Claudio Miguel, Oliver, Giovanni Granados, and Alexandra Yonetti; brother, Ronald Dow Blue (Eleanor), and nephew, Dow Blue.

Graveside Services will be on Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 2pm at Birmingham’s historic Elmwood Cemetery and family and friends are invited. In lieu of flowers the family request that contributions be made to the Debbie Blue Pantry, the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, 4954 Valleydale Road, Birmingham, AL 35242 or to a charity of your choice.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Blue family.

2 Replies to “Neil Douglas Jr. Obit”

  1. George Rogers of Wausau Florida was a close friend of him years ago, so he named his after him. My name is NEIL DANIEL ROGERS. I met him once years ago.

  2. Just wanted to share the eulogy I wasn’t allowed to share at my grandfather’s funeral:

    Like all of us, Papa was a complicated human. His love was as big as his temper, his voice as gentle as it was commanding. Papa existed dialectically, exhaling gentle love as quickly as he exhaled analytics, and sometimes fire. His emotions were big, not always tempered, but always from a place of passion and landing ultimately with an unfurled grace, rolling off his southern tongue like a marble to the solid but slightly tilted ground.

    Knowing Papa was knowing how to share in complicated emotions. Yesterday Miguel asked me to do a ritual with him where I recalled different memories connected to Papa, memories that evoked both positive and negative emotions, which were sent to different places depending on how they felt in my heart. I recalled a time in the hospital when I was little. I was there for a chemotherapy treatment that required injecting a large needle into my spine. Whenever they had to do an intervention like this, my strengths became Herculean, at least by Papa’s account. I’ll never forget one day when Papa walked in after what seemed like hours of combat, tiny me fighting off every nurse and doctor in the ward. Immediately I gave in when I saw Papa, but I can’t tell you which emotion I was feeling at that moment. Perhaps I was feeling calm because of his presence. Perhaps I was feeling fear because of his presence. Where do you put this experience with a person, one where you are afraid of something that is there to save you? Into which emotional box does something like this go? Isn’t this the complexity of humans, our relationships, parenthood, partnership, and all the other types of connections that we have with ourselves and one another? I doubt my child mind was thinking in such complex terms, but in looking back I recognize the dichotomy and complexity of something that is both painful and healing, much like the process of grief, emotion ebb and flow. I recognize the necessity, at times, of two things existing all at once, despite their seemingly complex duality. This, to me, is Papa.

    The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows calls this type of narrow perspective where as humans we seem to deny our capacity for bigger thinking and feeling occhiolism
    n. the awareness of how fundamentally limited your senses are–noticing how little of your field of vision is ever in focus, how few colors you’re able to see, how few sounds you’re able to hear, and how intrusively your brain fills in the blanks with its own cartoonish extrap-olations-which makes you wish you could experience the whole of reality instead of only ever catching a tiny glimpse of it, to just once step back from the keyhole and finally open the door. This is something that, as a therapist, I often talk about in session with my clients, how easy it is to fall into the narrative of only one possibility, and to let that narrative create your perception of reality; to fall prey to the notion that, if one thing exists, it is impossible for something else to exists simultaneously.

    Papa loved everyone with passion. Libby, you were the undeniable love of his life. Not only that, but you also found the key to my heart, raw cookie dough. Patrick and Kelly, if I have learned anything as a stepparent it’s the true meaning of unconditional love, loving someone else’s children as much as you would your own. Papa loved y’all deeply as his own and I am so grateful that he brought us together as a family. Misty, you keep a spirit alive in this family that I know Papa felt when we lost your mother, Aunt Debbie. You are beautiful, fiery, and full of wit and grace, which I am sure you got not only from Papa but also from her. Mama, have the gentleness, the forgivingness, the resiliency, the humbleness, and the compassion. You bring the unconditional parts of Papa to everyone. Sis, you bring his intellect, his wisdom, his sincerity, his spirituality, and his deep fondness for investigation and inquiry. And I know, I know. I carry the torch of his stubbornness and hard headedness, which I personally like to call tenacity and perseverance, and his impulsivity, which some might call adventurousness. We can all thank Papa for who we have become as humans, and for the relationships he helped us weave. There’s not a person here whose life he has not touched, and for that, I will always be grateful.

    Love always,

    Your youngest star gazer✨

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