Jerel Brent McNeil • 2/28/53 – 5/20/12
Longtime Houston resident, Jerel Brent McNeil, slipped peacefully into eternal sleep on Sunday, May 20, 2012 after a brief, but valiant battle with esophageal cancer. Jerel was a kind and gentle man whose passion was to help raise money for causes within the GLBT community. He was a hard working member of several philanthropic organizations and also gave his time and energy to other GLBT concerns, most notably AFH Camp Hope where he was a camp counselor for a number of years. His greatest accomplishments were being elected as Emperor XIII of the Empire of the Royal Sovereign and Imperial Court of the Single Star, serving as Apollo Emperor III of ICOH: The Space City Empire, and being appointed as the first lifetime member of the Colt 45’s. He served in various board positions with all three organizations. He was also proud to be a part of a most haphazard community family, the Debris Sisters and cherished his role as Alotta Debris, Mother of Montrose 2004.
Jerel was born in McNary, AZ. He eventually relocated to Atlanta, GA and Lake Charles, LA before settling in Houston. In 1979 he met the man that he would share the next 33 years of his life with, his partner and soul mate, Rusty. He quickly became a part of Rusty’s family and was always referred to as “Uncle Jerel” to Rusty’s nieces and nephews. Through the ups, downs and in-betweens, Jerel and Rusty shared a bond and a love that could not be broken. Jerel enjoyed traveling throughout the country with the Court and always talked about his trip to Rome, Italy, a place he longed to revisit. His greatest joy in life was spending time with his daughter and his beloved grandchildren.
Jerel is preceded in death by his parents, Warren and Coriene McNeil, and his brother, Monte McNeil. He is survived by his partner, Rusty Mueller of Houston, TX; daughter, Cindi McNeil and grandchildren, Brent, Brandon and Isabella of Franklin, TX. He is also survived by his sister, Pat Miller of Dunadin, FL; sister, Mary Ann McNeil of Franklin, TX; sister, Denise Smith of Tucson, AZ; as well as nieces, nephews and the many friends and co-workers who came to know and love him over the years.
A memorial service for Jerel will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston, with the Reverend Mr. Adam Robinson, Assistant Minister, presiding. A reception and celebration of life followed the service at the Brazos River Bottom.
Memorial contributions can be made to Houston Hospice, 1905 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030 or AFH Camp Hope, c/o AIDS Foundation Houston, 3202 Weslayan, Houston, TX 77027.