Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Society • LB Neal’s Organ Donation Saves Important Life

LB Neal, “Neal” to all of us, died of cancer on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM in his Arizona home with his wife Pati at his side. Neal, the publisher of the popular on-line newspaper, American Daily, was a tough old bird with a tender and giving nature. Totally unselfish, he accomplished something shortly before his death to help a fellow newsman. It not only helped, but saved a life.

A newspaper or newsletter of an organization is called, an ‘organ,’ a term that sometimes refer to newspapers in general.

His friend, Chip McLean,  founder and publisher of Capitol Hill Coffee House (CHCH), suddenly was bulldozed by one challenge after another after barely surviving a freak accident when a huge tree fell on the car he was driving during a powerful storm. Chip found himself pinned in the car that was crushed all around him, injuring him significantly.

Along with that, other difficulties emerged and he was forced to shut down CHCH. While Neal was in the throes of death, he exemplified the ultimate editor’s organ transplant, signing over the prepaid publishing arm of American Daily, which was dying, so that Capitol Hill Coffee House could live. Neal saved the life of that news site.

Happily, thanks to Neal, CHCH is back in service full swing,. I was told that Chip’s news site is read by every Congressperson and Senator in D.C. with readers all over the world. It is a site worth checking every morning to be fully informed. Link to it at: http://www.capitolhillcoffeehouse.com

Even though Neal’s death was imminent, it still came as a shock. One is never really ready for it. Neal was hoping to make it through election day, which was very important to him even though at the last he was in terrible pain.

A chaplain had prayed with Neal that morning.  Interesting, the chaplain came earlier than expected. Had he come at the precise scheduled time, Neal would have been gone and missed that special encounter with him.

Pati helped the housekeeper out to her car with some clothes that she had given her. When Pati returned, Neal had quietly made the crossing. Pati said she thought he wanted to go when he was alone. This has been witnessed numerous times as many do not want their loved ones to see them die as that might be too difficult and even traumatic for them.

Neal has been cremated and his remains will be taken to Oregon, to the farm where he grew up, and scattered in that area.

In my last conversation with him, Neal made me promise that I would keep writing and letting the truth be known. You can bet I will, dear friend. What a pleasure it was to know you. When the election takes place, you will have the best view of anyone. Look forward to seeing you again in the future.

 

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