Funeral services for Dr. James L. Neafus, 74, New Albany, will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Main Street United Methodist Church, New Albany, with entombment in Kraft-Graceland Memorial Park, New Albany. He died Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, at Norton Hospital, Louisville.
He graduated from New Albany High School in 1956 and attended IUS in Jeffersonville, and attended the University of Louisville. He graduated from Indiana University with a BS and Received a Doctorate in 1963 in Dentistry and was on the deans list for Academics. He served as a Dental Surgeon in the US Army from 1963-1965 during the Vietnam War. His basic training was at Camp Bullis in Fort Sam Houston, TX. He later served two years at Ft. Hood, TX. with his wife Betty and three of their five children. He was promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain in 1963. In 1964 he was promoted from general dentistry to exodontics oral surgery, where he removed cysts, tumors and cut out wisdom teeth for troops assigned to Vietnam. He later taught exodontics to other rotating Army dentists. He served in the US Army Reserves after 1965 with duty at Ft. Knox, Ky. His primary practice was in Clarksville, for the last 48 years. He has served on many Dental Society Committees and was twice president of Clark and Floyd County dental societies and twice president of the Indiana South Eastern Dental Society (a component of the Indiana Dental Association). He was a life member of the American and Indiana Dental Associations being a continuous member for more than 50 years. He was a fellow in the Academy of Dentistry and was chairman of the Indiana State peer Review Committee for (one) term and a component chairman for over 10 years. During his youth he was active in Scouting receiving numerous awards including “Order of the Arrow” and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He also reached all of the ranks as an explorer scout and was an adult scout leader for many years. He was a lifetime member of the Indiana University Alumni Association. He was a Kentucky Colonel and was the team dentist for the ABA Kentucky Colonels. He has been a member of Main Street United Methodist Church for more than 65 years and was a trustee and served on numerous committees. He played on and later coached the church basketball team for more than 50 years. He coached various amateur local basketball teams and his dental school teams. He coached little league baseball (boys and girls) teams and basketball and football teams. His hobbies are sports and traveling and he has traveled all over the world with his wife of 51 years Betty. He is an avid IU fan in all sports and has held continuous season tickets to IU football for 48 years. He enjoyed spending valuable time with their five children and 10 grandchildren and he was thankful to God for his blessings.
Survivors include his wife, Betty Jack Neafus; three sons, Randall Neafus, Michael Neafus, and Jason Neafus and his wife, Kendra; two daughters, Jamie Miller and her husband, Barry, and Karen Howard and her husband, Roger; three sisters, Judy Cooksey, Betty Shine and her husband, Sam, and Claudia Rice and her husband, David; 10 grandchildren, Mac, Henry, and twins Ruby and Roxie Miller, Roger James and Chase Howard, and Olivia, Korinne, Ella and Noelle Neafus; and his trusty companion, Buffy Cosette.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Captain Claude Neafus and Sue Walker Neafus and a niece, Tanya Lynn Cooksey.
Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville Funeral Homes, Market Street Chapel, New Albany, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the church.
Memorial gifts may be made to The American Diabetes Association or The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA).