Roger Byron Neilson

May 24, 1931 - April 29, 2022

05/24/1931 - 04/29/2022

Past Services

Friday May 06, 2022
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Maestas Chapel
1801 Baltic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 428-1112 | Directions
Funeral Service
Saturday May 07, 2022
11:00 am
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Maestas Chapel
1801 Baltic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 428-1112 | Directions

Major Roger Byron Neilson (USMC), Retired- age 90 died on April 29th, 2022.

Roger was born in Norwood, Massachusetts to David MacKinlay Neilson and Dorothy Lorraine Wright on May 24th, 1931. He graduated from Milton High School in Milton, PA and with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he participated in Crew. He married Judith Marie Jodoin on September 28th, 1985 in Virginia Beach, Virginia at NAB Chapel Little Creek. He worked as a Real Estate Broker for many years after retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps. Roger was a veteran of the Korean, Vietnam, and Dominican Republic Wars and served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, retiring as a Major. While serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was designated and awarded Rifle Expert 5 times and Pistol Expert 4 times, was on the U.S. Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Team, and was awarded medals for National Intercollegiate Competitions for individual and team indoor rifle and service rifle. In addition, he was awarded the following military medals for his service and bravery in the Korean, Vietnam, and Dominican Republic Wars: Bronze Star with Combat “V”, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Stars, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation with palm, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 star, Armed Forces Service Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960-, Combat Action Ribbon with 1 star, the Fuerza Interamericana De Paz, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with “V”, Bronze Division Rifle Medal, Pistol Expert Badge, Rifle Expert Badge, Navy Unit Commendation with 1 star, and the Meritorious Service Medal. Roger was a lifetime member of the 3rd Marine Division Association, Inc.; the Marine Corps Association, the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.; was a lifetime member of the U.S. American Legion and belonged to the Hampton Roads Military Society for over 25 yrs.

He is predeceased by his parents David and Dorothy Neilson; his maternal grandmother who raised him, Louise Clinger; his aunt Evelyn Wright; his brother, Gabriel Hanover; and his grandson, “Chip” Bowman.)

Roger is survived by his wife of 36 ½ years, Judith Marie Neilson, four daughters, four sons, and three step-children. Bonnie Panettieri and her husband, Robert Deacon; Robin Richards and her husband, Michael; Leslie Safrit and her husband, Chris; Karen Hollerbach; Roy Neilson, Randy Neilson; Rodney Neilson and his wife, Sara; Roger Neilson, Jr.; Juliann Smith, Michael Smith, and Jennifer Smithson and her husband, Matthew. Also surviving him, 2 sisters and a brother, Marvene Rheem and Mary Lou Keifer, and Darwin Neilson and his wife, Janice.

His surviving grandchildren include Angelo Panettieri, Kadie Neilson, Brittany Neilson, Ricky Neilson, Olivia Safrit, Carly Safrit; Jessica Halliburton & her husband, Jason; and Lauren.

Visitation will be 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Friday, May 6th, 2022 at Altmeyer Funeral Home & Crematory, 1801 Baltic Ave., Virginia Beach.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, May 7th, 2022 at Altmeyer Funeral Home & Crematory Maestas Chapel, 1801 Baltic Ave., Virginia Beach. Burial will take place at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Joseph Hagerman Jr.
10 days ago

Good by my friend. It’s all smooth sailing from here on. I will meet you at Fiddlers Green, save me a seat.
R/ Joe Hagerman, ASCM (AW) , US Navy, (Ret)

13 days ago

Last week my stepfather passed away. He’s been a part of my life since I was 12. He loved my mother dearly and I love him for that. While as a teenager we didn’t always see eye to eye. As the years went by I grew to understand he only wanted the best for me. He taught me a lot about business. Without the knowledge and learning from him I wouldn’t be where I am today and I love him for that. He fought for our country during the Korean, Vietnam, and Dominican Republic Wars and I give great respect and bravery to him for that.
He will be dearly missed.
You are forever in my heart.
Rest in peace. ❤️

Robin Richards
13 days ago

It has taken 90 years to understand his special connection with cats……he had 9 lives. RIP

Lindsey A. Livesay
13 days ago

I had the privilege of knowing Major Neilson for several years. What struck me was his keen intelligence, his no-nonsense approach to life and his deep love and absolute devotion to his wonderful wife Judy. This world has lost a man of honor, integrity and bravery. Heaven has gained a one of-a- kind soul.