David Henry Neff

October 11, 1942 ~ August 7, 2020 (age 77)


David Henry Neff passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness at FirstHealth Hospice House in West End, North Carolina on August 7, 2020.  Graveside services will be private at Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh.

Dave was born on October 11, 1942 in Millersville, Pennsylvania son of the late David Hudson Neff, Jr. and Sara Ernst Neff.

Always an athlete, Dave lettered in five sports each year while attending Penn Manor High School and attended Eastern Kentucky University on a football scholarship.  After earning his undergraduate degree, he entered the United States Marine Corps as a commissioned officer attaining the rank of Captain and bravely serving in Viet Nam from 1967-1968.

After completing his Marine Corps service, he joined Pfizer, Inc. transferring to the Coty division located in Sanford in 1973.  He retired from Coty US, LLC in 2007 with 37 years of service holding numerous management positions.

Personally, Dave was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) and was a member of the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry and Sanford Masonic Lodge #151.  He was an accomplished woodworker; able to work with various mediums from refurbishing antiques to creating family heirlooms.  He continued to find ways to include sports in his life; Dave was a certified official with the US Swimming Association.  He officiated local and regional swimming events including the Junior Olympic Qualifiers, Olympic Qualifiers, and the Special Olympics.  Dave was an avid golfer.  He played, practiced, and even worked on golf clubs as much as possible; frequently competing in local and charity golf matches.

Dave is survived by his cherished family; his wife of 53 years Sharon Ruggles Neff, two daughters Jamie Ferguson and Lori Piatt (Brent) both of Raleigh; three grandchildren, Taylor Ferguson, Corbin Piatt, and Cole Piatt; brother James Neff (Heidi) of Chesapeake, VA; and niece Jennifer Groves and family also of Chesapeake.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial contributions be made to the WakeMed Foundation in Raleigh by visiting

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