Contact Us
(309) 346-2176

Obituaries are so much more than a public notice that a friend or loved one has passed away.

D. Neale Hanley

1/4/1940 - 7/26/2015

PEKIN ~ D. Neale Hanley, 75, of Pekin, passed away peacefully at 11:29 p.m. Sunday, July 26, 2015 at his home.

Born January 4, 1940 in Streator to Dr. Deloss Reed and Lodema Helen (Brown) Hanley, he married Nancy Carolyn Willey on June 10, 1961 at First United Methodist Church in Mattoon, IL.  She died December 4, 1987 in Pekin.  He later married Patricia G. (Lambert) Weiland on September 26, 1993 at St. John’s (Sand Prairie) Lutheran Church in rural Green Valley.  She survives.

Surviving are twin sons, Charles R. Hanley and D. Neale “Buster” (Joely) Hanley, II, both of Pekin; one daughter, Tamzon W. “Tammie” (David) Vocatura of Westerly, RI; one step-son, Eric Weiland of Pekin; five grandchildren, Tyler Reed Hanley, Preston R. Hanley, Megan N. Hanley, all of Pekin, Caroline R. Vocatura and Emily E. Vocatura, both of Westerly, RI; one brother, Dr. James C. Hanley of Burlington, WI; a niece, Maureen A. (Jason) Setley of Minneapolis, MN and a grandniece, Adair Setley.  He also leaves three sisters-in-law, Elma Chrestenson, Bonnie (Jim) Boyd, both of Pekin and Connie (Bruce) Binkley of Morton.

He was also preceded in death by his parents and one daughter, Laura Estelle Hanley on December 31, 2004 in Peoria, who was Tammie’s twin sister.

A 1958 graduate of Streator Township High School, he graduated in 1963 from Baker University in Baldwin City, KS with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration.  He was a member of the Beta Tau Chapter of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.  In 1964, Neale graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago.

For the past 50 years, Neale has been a trusted funeral director and owner of Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  Through his vision and wise counsel, he and his family opened a second funeral home location in Creve Coeur in 1973, expanded the Pekin home to accommodate a growing number of families in 2001, added a crematory facility in 2009 and established Prairie Haven Cemetery on Veterans Drive in Pekin during the summer of 2013.  The funeral home was recognized and inducted into the National Funeral Directors Association - Hall of Excellence in 2012, while under his leadership.  The tradition of caring service embodied by Neale will continue through the service of his sons and his dedicated staff.

A Pekin resident since 1965, Neale was community minded and concerned with the betterment of Pekin.  He was an active and longtime member of the Pekin Chapter of AMBUCS., serving as president in 1974-75 and chairman of the annual charity auction in 1985.  He was a 49-year member of Empire Lodge 126, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons in Pekin; Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Peoria and Irin Grotto in Pekin.  He also was a longtime member of the Creve Coeur Lions Club, Pekin Elks Lodge #1271, Pekin Moose Family Center 916 and Pekin Country Club.  He was a faithful supporter of the United Way of Pekin and many community causes.

He was a devoted member of Grace United Methodist Church in Pekin, where he had served the church as chairman of the Property committee and as a past president of the United Methodist Men.  Neale also attended worship and Sunday school at St. John’s Lutheran Church in rural Green Valley with his wife, Pat, and enjoyed fellowship there.

Neale loved his family and was proud of and appreciated his work family.  He enjoyed travel, spending time with friends and keeping up with his grandchildren.  He especially enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship with his bridge club and the “Nameless” luncheon group.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday, July 31, 2015 at Grace United Methodist Church in Pekin.  The Rev. Gary L. Ford and Rev. Pam Cochran will officiate.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin, and also from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at the church.  Private burial will be Friday afternoon at Prairie Haven Cemetery in Pekin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Grace United Methodist Church Sustaining God’s Grace Building Fund, 601 North 4th Street, Pekin, IL 61554; to Good Shepherd Lutheran School, 3201 Court Street, Pekin, IL 61554; or to Pekin AMBUCS to purchase AmTryke’s, therapeutic tricycles for children with disabilities, in care of the funeral home, 500 North 4th Street, Pekin, IL 61554.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Michael Veeder and his staff at Illinois Cancer Care, along with Dr. Terry Meriden and Dr. Gretchen Evans, who were his long-term doctors.

To express condolences online, visit