Neil A. "BEAR" McElroy

March 25, 1948 - January 20, 2022
Neil A. McElroy thumbnail
Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Inc.
Your daughter, Laurene Lewis-Cale
Your daughter, Laurene Lewis-Cale Light a candle


“BEAR” Neil A. McElroy, age 73 of Cridersville, passed away on Thursday, January 20, 2022, at his home. He was born March 25, 1948, in Lima, Ohio to the late Nathan Eugene and Berthamae (Mechling) McElroy. On August 24, 1974, he married Lori E. Dawson, who survives.

As a young man, Neil served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, sustaining severe injuries. For his service, he was the recipient of the Purple Heart.

Former owner of Lima Car Care and retired truck driver, Neil was a lifelong motorcycle and classic car enthusiast. His passion for motor vehicles displayed itself in many ways, from his avid support of racing of all types to the many project vehicles of his own that he worked on over the years.

Most recently Neil was the owner/operator of the Bear’s Den in Cridersville, where his legacy lives on. Those who knew Bear will remember him as ornery and stubborn, but also generous. He was a lifetime member of the DAV, a member of the VFW and AMVETS, and frequent contributor to the annual ABATE Toy Run. His many friends will all agree that he had a heart bigger than he was.

Additional survivors include 3 sons – Dan D. (Virginia) Neal of Cridersville; Neil Kenneth (Cheryl) McElroy of Marietta, OH; Nathan A. (Shauna) McElroy of State College, PA; 2 daughters – Brandi, and Laurene ‘Laurie’ Lewis-Cale of Parkersburg, WV; 9 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren (and one on the way); 2 brothers – Nathan D. ‘Denny’ (Janet) McElroy of Baltimore, OH, and Gary M. (Debbie) McElroy of Wapakoneta.

A gathering in Bear’s honor will be held from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Cridersville. Military rites will be conducted by the VFW at 5 p.m.

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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Time: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Inc.


311 West Main Street, Cridersville, OH, 45806


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Timeline for Neil A. McElroy

Born: March 25, 1948
Died: January 20, 2022

Condolences for Neil A. McElroy

Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Inc.

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Inc..


Your daughter, Laurene Lewis-Cale posted on 1/23/22

My Dearest Daddy O, what does a daughter say to to the man she called her hero… knowing she will never hear your voice on the other end of the phone again when I call and ask you something silly, talk to you about my animals or just to tell you I love you and just to hear you tell me you love me too…. You called me a few weeks ago and left me a message and I keep playing it over and over just to hear your voice….. it will help me heal in the days ahead. I know this is just our temporary home and you now are with GOD suffering no more. I LOVE YOU DADDY O and was blessed to have been your daughter. 🎈🎈🎈♥️


Your daughter, Laurene Lewis-Cale posted on 1/23/22

In memory of Neil A. "BEAR" McElroy, Your daughter, Laurene Lewis-Cale lit a candle


Bob & Billie Conner posted on 1/23/22

To Lori and family, I am very sorry for your loss. Neal was very generous when it came to different organizations around Cridersville. He will be greatly missed by many around the Village. Thank you for your service. Rest in peace


Your daughter, Laurene Lewis-Cale posted on 1/23/22

So many memories, where do I begin….Daddy O I know miles seemed to keep us apart and life seemed to always seemed to be happening but you and I always knew we loved each other. Before your health started to fail there wasn’t a time I couldn’t call you and you wouldn’t answer. I knew you were always a phone call away. Hearing your voice always had a way of calming me. Gave me a peace. One memory that stands out at this time is when I was 19 and I was getting married to Carissa’s dad. You, Lori, Nathan and Grandma all came to be there so you would me down the isle. You told me you wouldn’t miss that for the world. As we stood there in that room, just you and I, you told me how much you loved me and that no matter what you would always be there for me and I would always be daddy’s little girl regardless how old I got. And in your eyes I was so beautiful and at that moment we walked down the isle arm in arm. It was our own moment that I’ll cherish always. You will live forever in my heart Daddy O so until we see each other again…. 🎈🎈🎈💕your girl, Laurie


Patti Libert posted on 1/22/22

To the Family of "Bear" Bear will be missed by all who knew him. I would like to post a Eulogy Poem that I wrote for a Soldier who also was a Patriotic hero. It's called "A Soldiers Final Battle" God be with your family at this sorrowful time in your lives. "A Soldiers’ Final Battle" Soldiers fight many battles. But some battles take a toll on us, A battle that ravishes our bodies and minds. There’s no decisive weapon to conquer, No Foxhole to seek shelter. We face an Enemy that is determined to win the Fight. It’s acceptable to put down our weapons, And surrender our body and soul for the greater Victory. The purpose of being one of GOD’s greatest Soldiers. The greatest Victory of all! At Ease Soldier…. Goodnight Patti Libert (Angie's Mother)