Neal Walker Hanlin

5 mars, 1979 - 29 août, 2020

Biographie


Neal Walker (O.G. - “Old Gear”) Hanlin passed away on August 29, 2020 at the age of 41. He was at his home in Portland, Oregon where he lived with his cousin George Hanlin, Jr., friend Poncho, and several pets for the past six years.


Neal is survived by his parents Dr. Hugh Grady Hanlin and Sue Ann Walker Hanlin, both residing in Aiken, South Carolina, and his three brothers, Carey Hays Hanlin, also of Aiken, Ryan Prater Hanlin of Durham, North Carolina, and Michael (“Macky”) Guilherme, Raleigh, North Carolina.


Neal was born on March 5, 1979 in Barbourville, Kentucky to Hugh and Sue Ann Hanlin. He graduated from Clemson University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language & International Trade concentrating in Spanish. He also received his Diploma de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera (Nivel Basico) in 2002 while studying abroad in Tarragona, Spain.


While Neal never married, his two loves in this life were traveling and hiking. In addition to his time studying in Spain, Neal also spent semesters abroad in Argentina, South America, Melbourne, Australia, and summers completing several cross-country road trips visiting friends. After college, Neal lived in Charleston, South Carolina before moving to Memphis, Tennessee to take an inside sales position with OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Line). While with OOCL, he relocated to Cerritos, California for a Sales Analyst role before stepping away from the grind of corporate life to rediscover himself on the trails and in the wilderness of North America.


Where travel defined most of Neal’s 20’s, hiking across the county and experiencing the great outdoors came to define his 30’s. In 2009, Neal spent seven months thru-hiking the Appalachian National Scenic Trail from terminus to terminus, a total distance of 2,178 miles. Here he met many of the friends and kindred spirits he would gather with in later years to reminisce about their experiences and discuss goals for larger feats. After his first thru-hike, Neal went back to work for DHL Global Forwarding in Columbia, South Carolina, but never lost sight of what he learned on the trail or his desire to get back out there. While progressing through several promotions with DHL between 2010 to 2014, he set his sights on hiking Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and began mentoring other thru-hikers through the Appalachian Trail Conservatory. An interview with Neal about what he learned on the trail can be found here:


https://journeys.appalachiantrail.org/issue/winter-2018/momentum-flow/


In 2014, it was time to hit the trail again and Neal set out in April to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Detoured by wildfires in the west but undaunted, Neal completed the 2,659 mile trail in five months to finish in September 2014. This time when Neal came back, he took a position as an Import Specialist with TLR (Total Logistics Resources) in Portland, Oregon in 2015. He was promoted to Import Supervisor less than a year later, but still could not shake the call of the trail. With his eyes set on the monumental goal of completing his Triple Crown, Neal left again to thru-hike Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in July of 2017.  Five months and 3,059 miles later, Neal “Old Gear” Hanlin completed his Triple Crown. He was officially honored for completing all three trails a year later at the annual ALDHA-West meeting in September 2018. At that time he was the 891st person to complete all three trails totaling 7,896 miles.


Since his time on the trail, Neal spent a year in Portland as a Sales Specialist at REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), and then moved into the coffee business for another year as the Seattle Operations Manager with Costa Oro International. Most recently Neal joined Hawthorne Gardening Company in late 2019 as a Fulfillment Planner and enjoyed his time there until his passing.


Neal Hanlin was cremated in Portland, Oregon on September 3, 2020 before making the journey home to Aiken, South Carolina with his brother Carey a few days later.  Neal will certainly be missed for the rest of our days, but that is largely due to smiles he placed on our faces for the last 41 years. 


Unfortunately, as Neal expressed more than once, 2020 has basically been a dumpster fire and there is a global pandemic preventing us from getting together to celebrate his life and the joy he brought to ours. In the absence of meeting in person, the family has chosen to place his memorial online to help us all grieve in a common space, and also to bring people back together and give them an opportunity to share stories, pictures, and more.


We do not have a timeline to get people together in-person with everything going on in the world, but if smaller groups would like to meet virtually or in-person we can help facilitate that here.  Please register for Neal’s mykeeper.com memorial and we will notify everyone as plans are made. 


In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the following charities we know Neal would have supported –


  • Hike for Mental Health – you can support an individual and their journey or the organization itself through their website

  • Appalachian Trail Conservatory – in addition to mentoring other thru-hikers with the ATC, this is where Neal found comradery and the opportunity to share his experiences

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Famille

À propos de

Nom Neal Walker Hanlin
Date de naissance 5 mars, 1979
Date de décès 29 août, 2020
Ville natale Aiken, SC, US 
Autre ville Portland, OR, US 
Don commémoratif Hike for Mental Health
Don commémoratif Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Famille

Famille

Frères et sœursCarey Hays Hanlin, Ryan Prater Hanlin
ParentsHugh Grady Hanlin, Sue Ann Walker Hanlin
Fait marquant

Faits marquants

1999 - 2003 Clemson University, Bachelor of Arts (B.A), Language & International Trade, Spanish
2001 - 2002 Cervantas Institute, Diploma de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera (DELE), (Nivel Basico)
2009 Thru-Hiked the Appalachian Trail
2010 - 2012 Customs Global Account Manager, DHL Global Forwarding
2014 Thru-Hiked the Pacific Crest Trail
2015 - 2017 Import Supervisor, Total Logistics Resource
2017 Thru-Hiked the Continental Divide Trail
2017 - 2018 Sales Specialist, REI
2018 Awarded the Triple Crown by ALDHA-West
2018 - 2019 Seattle Operations Manager, Costa Oro International, LLC
2019 - 2020 Fulfillment Manager, Hawthorne Gardening Company

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Brenna Hearn Lord a publié un hommage .

Neal was a joy to know through summer league swimming in Aiken. Always a kind a supportive older swimmer with a loud cheer, warm smile, and awesome butterfly stroke! Sad to hear this news and my heart goes out to Carey, Ryan, his parents, and all who miss him. Grateful to have crossed paths with Neal and all the Hanlins. ♥️

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Don a publié un hommage .

Today, Neal, I/we miss you.. more.

I pray that you are still among us in Spirit and Joy, for that is what we shared

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Shannon a publié un hommage .

Thank you to Macky for donating to my PCT 2021 thru-hike in Neil’s name. I only now received the message giving me this link to Neil’s story.

What an amazing life he led on trail and off. I am humbled by his tenacity and will to succeed on trail. As a member of the mental health community, I suffer from Bipolar 2 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Being able to hike 225 miles this year for Neil is a huge accomplishment for me.

While I didn’t get to complete the trail due to a lack of support partners (an accommodation I made for my mental health), I am so grateful that this donation will be going to a worthy cause. My hope is to End the Stigma of mental health. Thank you for such a great gift you’ve given this community.

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Celeste Brockington a publié un hommage .

The world is a sadder place without Near. His smile an kindness will be missed by everyone who knew him, and countless people lost that opportunity. May the souls of the departed rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them.

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Meredith Davis a publié un hommage .

Love you, Neal. ❤️

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Meredith Davis a publié un hommage .

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Meredith Davis a publié un hommage .

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Meredith Davis a publié un hommage .

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Meredith Davis a publié un hommage .

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Meredith Davis a publié un hommage .

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Meredith Davis a publié un hommage .

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Meredith Davis a publié un hommage .

Digging through old boxes that haven’t been opened in years, I found a true treasure today. A photo album filled with pictures of Neal when we lived in Memphis. I still think of his loving heart and warm smile every day, and am so happy to have found these treasured memories.

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Sherry Williamson a publié un hommage .

I met Neal and his family when our sons were on the Houndslake Swim Team and our youngest son, Marcus, swam year round with Neal and his brothers. We had wonderful times car pooling to practice and working swim meets. My heart goes out to Sue Ann, Hugh, Carey, Ryan and Mackey. I have great memories of his sweet nature and infectious laugh. Neal is gone too soon. God Bless the Hanlin family.

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Bill Maroni a publié un hommage .

I worked with Neal’s mom (Sueann) in the ER at Aiken. As a fellow long-distance hiker (Appalachian Trail in 2000), I wanted to do something to honor Neal. On October 3rd, I paused at this trailhead in pic above on the Continental Divide Trail during a visit to Glacier National Park. I made a video which I sent to Sueann but was unable to share the video here. October 3rd was coincidentally the birthday of my brother Bob who died in 2016. Although I did not know Neal, I consider him as a fellow long-distance hiker to be a brother in Spirit. Much love to the Hanlin family and to all of his friends as they mourn his loss.

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Melissa Garner a publié un hommage .

Neal had such an infectious laugh. We had great times at the Memphis office. My thoughts are with his friends and family during this sad time.

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Billie Webb a publié un hommage .

Neal worked for me while in Memphis (Billie Webb with OOCL). I loved Neal to death. he and Meredith Stone had so much fun and brought so much joy to our office. What a beautiful soul he had. I am glad he is finally at peace. My heart goes out to his parents and brothers whom he loved unconditionally.

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Jay B a publié un hommage .

Got to visit him in Portland in January. This is the only photo I have from the trip with him visible...pointing out things overlooking the city. Will forever be in our hearts.

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Jessica a publié un hommage .

When I picture Neal, it's like this. That raised eyebrow, with a hint of mischievousness. Though there is so much to say, it seems like words could hardly do him justice. He was an incredibly beautiful and thoughtful person and I'm so thankful to have been able to call him a brother.

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Mitzi Hagan a publié un hommage .

Sue Hugh, Carey and Ryan
I am so sorry for your loss. I remember our wonderful times on swim team in Aiken. My heart goes out to you all.and you are in my prayers.

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Carol Sheldon a publié un hommage .

I first met Neal in 2009 shortly after he completed his hike of the Appalachian Trail. My husband and I were dining at a restaurant in Aiken and Neal was our server. We struck up a conversation with Neal and I was immediately taken with his smile! He was friendly, interested in interacting and just a joy to talk with. At that time, I was the head of Customs for DHL and just opening an office in Columbia SC. Once I heard about Neal's background, I suggested that he give us a call and apply for a job. I gave him my card and hoped that he'd follow up.
Well, he did and we hired him right away! He always joked about being "hand picked" for his job and I always agreed with him.
I didn't see Neal daily but when I did, he was always smiling, always ready to tackle a project, always interested in learning.
Over the years, I came to appreciate his love of the outdoors. When he spoke of hiking his eyes lit up and he became totally immersed in the topic.
After retiring in 2013, I stayed in contact with a few people and from time to time I would hear of Neal and his adventures. Neal and I "chatted" online a few times as well..... nothing deep or too personal, just checking in mostly.
I was deeply saddened to learn of Neal's passing. Such a wonderful young man with so much to offer.
I pray that his soul is at peace. That his spirit is at rest.

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Linda A Orebaugh a publié un commentaire .

Neal and his family is mine too. We are are so deeply saddened for anyone who ever truly knew Neal. He made you comfortable, happy and loved in his presence. He was brilliant but incredibly humble. We are all blessed to have known such a beautiful soul.

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Morgan a publié un hommage .

The love we shared as friends was unique and comical at times. Neal changed my life the moment we met and my world will never be the same with him gone.
I'm grateful we crossed paths and created so many memories, but I'll never stop wishing you were here. Rest in peace sweet man.

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Josh Dukes a publié un hommage .

Neal was someone I looked up to from the moment I met him, which was that magical summer between my jr and sr year of high school. He was a few years older than me and to me he knew everything that I didn't about life. When I was questioning who I was and who I wanted to be, he told me to always be true to myself above all else. I still hear his voice in my head when I think back on those days. Thank you Neal, for your light, your sweet laugh, and your friendship. I miss you.

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Ross Macdonald Sanders Iii a publié un hommage .

Neal Hanlin’s Spirit
Remains in my heart
Calls my name in the darkness
To a place of Joy

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Rachel Dersham a publié un hommage .

I don't know Meal, but wow that was a beautiful memorial for him. He was well loved. Prayers for the family and friends. ♥️

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David Rodgers a publié un commentaire .

When I first met Neal, I was impressed by his vibrance and his charismatic personality. Whatever corner of the room he was in at a party just beamed with laughter. He had so much raw talent. He will be sorely missed by those who loved him. These dark days in the world are darker now with his absence.

Sleep well.....rest in peace.

David Rodgers

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Suni Hawksworth a publié un hommage .

There are too many memories of my friend Neal. There are still no words on the loss of Neal and what he means me and my family.. Neal shined very bright in this life and will forever be on my mind, my heart, and in my life.

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Ray Little a publié un commentaire .

In disbelief!

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Laura Gordon a publié un commentaire .

I knew Neil from swimming together summer league and year round in Aiken, South Carolina. I always remember his smile and kept us laughing. I was very sad when a friend shared this news today.

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Eric Edwards a publié un hommage .

Neal was my coworker and I enjoyed working with him. I'm at a loss and can only offer my condolences to his family and friends. Neal will be missed.

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Jedidiah Mincks a publié un commentaire .

It was a pleasure to work with Neal as one of my coworkers. I can only offer my deepest sympathies and prayers to his family and friends at this time.

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Sarah Mccaskill a publié un hommage .

One of my very first friends in middle school. He was such a good guy and an amazing friend. He is missed.

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Niki Carter Owenby a publié un commentaire .

I am at a loss. Way too young for this to happen. Couldn't believe this when I was told.

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Harold, Lynne, Parker, Strock a publié un commentaire .

Neal was our first baby sitter for our son. A wonderful young man, and now gone far too soon.

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Sota a publié un hommage .

I met O.G. on the AT in 2009. We didn't hike together a lot, but it didn't matter. He left a huge impact in the short time I spent with him. I don't remember a time he wasn't smiling. He was a great person and I'm honored to have known him. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

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