Kerry Neely passed away suddenly on September 1, 2023, at the age of 75. He was a resident of Rye for 27 years.
Up until his last moments, Dean, as he was known, enjoyed some of the things he loved most in life – a perfectly arranged hors d’oeuvre plate, a bottle of Ruffino that he shared with neighborhood friends, and of course, his loving wife of 29 years, Linnie Neely.
Born in rural Kentucky, the Neely family moved to Detroit when he was 5 years old, and he never forgot his modest upbringing. He was a real estate entrepreneur, financing deals as large as 7 World Trade Center. He later returned to what was most important to him, providing low-income housing to those most in need. Later in life, he set up Kerry Investments to fulfill his mission of providing a respectful place to live for those on the fringe.
Every morning he read the New York Post (checking on the Yankees or Detroit Lions first), the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and, every Sunday you could find him sitting in the back pew at Rye Presbyterian Church.
Dean Neely is survived by his wife, Linnie, who currently has no idea how to work any of the electronics in her house, and his devoted daughter, Catherine, who kept him young and involved in so many parts of her life. He is also survived by his sister, Debbie Leid, his brother, Howard Scolnik, his niece, Stacey Leid, and his nephew Mark Leid, all of whom reside in Michigan. He was predeceased by his mother, Roberta DeBord Scolnik, and his brother, William Scolnik.
To quote his favorite historical figure, Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” and he lived up to that maxim.
A funeral was held September 7 at Rye Presbyterian Church.
Donations in Dean Neely’s memory may be made to Detroit Children’s Center for Low Income Families.