Charles Jacob “CJ” Neels, 39, of Austin, Texas, formerly of Bettendorf, Iowa passed away on Monday, January 25, 2021 at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday at McGinnis-Chambers Funeral Home, Bettendorf. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Those attending are asked to wear a mask and observe social distancing. Memorials may be directed to the Boys & Girls Club of America or to Texas Motion Picture Alliance.
CJ was born April 19, 1981 in Muscatine, Iowa the son of Michael and Loretta (Welsh) Neels. In 2000, he graduated from Bettendorf High School where he was a 3-time State qualifier in wrestling. He continued his education at Iowa State University and earned his Bachelor of Arts. CJ started his career in motion pictures at the Austin Film Society. As well as many television series and commercials, he worked on the films of Temple Grandin, True Grit, Parkland, Boyhood, Transformer: Age of Extinction, Manglehorn, Men, Women, & Children, and Everybody Wants Some. After joining the Director’s Guild of America, CJ worked as an Assistant Director on the films, The Founder, Marshall, and the series American Crime. He was nominated for a Director’s Guild of America Award for his work on the Netflix series Godless. His colleagues in the industry will remember him for his dedication to his co-workers, incredible work ethic and talent, and the lasting mark he left on the Austin, Texas film community.
Those left to honor his memory are his mother and step-father, Loretta & Larry Thompson of Bettendorf; father, Michael & Elizabeth Neels of LeClaire, Iowa; sister, Alicia (Jeremy) Prilipp, and her daughter, Tessa, of Austin; brother, Casey (Stephanie) Neels of Austin; step-brothers, Robert (Heather) Thompson of Calamus, Iowa, James Thompson of Davenport, Iowa; step-sisters, Lauren (Isaac) Creasey of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Emma Cramer of LeClaire; paternal grandmother, Rosa Jane Neels of Bowie, Texas; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Robert & Julia Welsh; and paternal grandfather, Charles J. Neels.
Online condolences may be shared with CJ’s family at www.McGinnis-Chambers.com.
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