We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Pippin Funeral Home
William Neal Moerschel (Neal), age 91, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Neal was born to William George Moerschel and Emma Catherine Strasbaugh née Hevern on Christmas Eve, 1930. His father passed away in early 1931 leaving his mother the unenviable task of raising a small boy during the Great Depression and throughout WW II. Always striving for success, Neal held down many part time jobs and became an Eagle Scout at age 16. Neal earned his B.S. degree in 1952 from Maryland State Teacher’s College which is now known as Towson University.
He enlisted in the United States Navy in late 1952 and was commissioned an Ensign in May 1953. His assignment was to Air Intelligence with Patrol Squadron 24 at Chincoteague, Virginia flying in P2V aircraft with subsequent deployments to Newfoundland and Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. LTJG Moerschel was a proud Navy man his entire life, and his time in the service of his country provided a solid basis for his steady, consistent and gentlemanly character.
The day after receiving his Navy commission, Neal married Thelma Iras Wright at Christ Lutheran Church in Baltimore, Maryland. They were married for 47 years and raised three children, Susan, Leslie, and Grant.
After leaving the Navy in 1956, Neal went back to school and in 1959 earned his B.S. degree in Industrial Management from Johns Hopkins University. During his early career, he was a computer system analyst when that was a newly invented term. He worked at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Honeywell, General Foods, and Speakman Company at a time when computers filled entire buildings and used punch cards for their memory.
Neal was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in 1968 where he proudly served in the 125th and 126th Delaware General Assemblies as the Republican representative for the southern Dover, Camden, and Wyoming districts. Neal credits his wife Thelma as a driving force behind his election. Neal’s family still talks about his campaign slogan, “Hop on the Neal Mobile,” which Thelma hand painted in neon green all over his black VW Beetle. They knew how to get out the vote. Representative Moerschel often spoke of the camaraderie and cross-aisle problem solving he experienced during his time in the legislature.
In 1972, he moved his family to the Annapolis, Maryland area upon accepting a new position as Chief of Staff for then Delaware United States Senator William Roth. Next, he employed his analytical skills in a 15 year stint as the director of electric power data systems for the U.S. Department of Energy. Never one to rest, Neal attended the University of Virginia at night taking accounting classes and passed his CPA in one try in 1984. He was the firm administrator for Cox Nichols Holliday CPAs until his retirement. During the latter part of his career, he and Thelma lived in Shepherdstown, West Virginia from 1976 to 1999. They then returned to Dover, Delaware for his retirement.
After Thelma’s passing in 2000, Neal met Elizabeth Emerson Townsend (Libby), a lifelong Kent County, Delaware resident. Libby too had lost her husband, Fred in 2000. Upon meeting, they hit it off wonderfully and were married in February 2003 at Christ Episcopal Church in Dover, Delaware. Neal and Libby were best friends who also never forgot to mutually acknowledge their first loves and the importance of bringing their families together as one unit. This is not lost on their children and grandchildren.
Over the years, Neal employed his skills as a problem solver, public speaker, and leader. He was a member of the the Kent County Republicans, and he served multiple terms as a Vestry member for both Trinity Episcopal Church, Shepherdstown, WV and Christ Episcopal Church, Dover, DE. Neal knew that much could be learned from history and as such traveled extensively and was an avid reader of books about past U.S. presidents, British prime ministers, and Paul the Apostle.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth of 19 years, his children Susan Moerschel, Leslie Tucker, and Grant Moerschel and their spouses; Elizabeth’s children Fred Townsend and Stuart Townsend and their spouses; his eight grandchildren, Tyler Laporte, Melissa Reed, Katie Painter, Will Moerschel, Hannah Moerschel, Rick Townsend, Sara Townsend, Jack Townsend; his three great-grandchildren Abigail Reed, Bryce Painter, and Cole Painter.
A Memorial Service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 523 S. State St, Dover, DE (State & Water Streets near the “Green”) on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 11 a.m. Interment will be in the church cemetery with military honors. For those that cannot attend in person, the service will be available for viewing live via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/christchurchdoverde.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 1374, Dover, DE 19903 – www.christchurchdover.org. To offer condolences, please visit www.pippinfuneralhome.com/listings.