Obituary: Howard Neft

Howard S. Neft, age 80, passed away in Scottsdale, AZ on January 25th, 2024.  Born in Pittsburgh, PA to Morris and Irene Neft, Howard attended Taylor Alderdice High School and graduated from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI with a degree in Journalism. After graduation, Howard moved to Chicago where he worked selling advertising for the Chicago Tribune.

During the Vietnam War Howard was stationed at O’Hare Airport as a member of the Air Force Reserve.  It was in Chicago that he met the love of his life, Lynne “Susie” Neft. They married in 1971 and eventually raised their two children in Northbrook, IL. 

Howard’s journalism background led him to co-found N.V. Business Publishing, where he published trade magazines for the Corrugated Box and Recycled Paper industries.  He was renowned in the paperboard packaging industry for his publications, his knowledge and his unique sense of humor. His career allowed for him to travel extensively in North America and Europe.  After a family trip to Scottsdale, AZ in 1995, he and Susie decided to make it their second home and enjoyed  many trips back and forth as snowbirds.  They retired to Scottsdale in 2008, after selling his stake in N.V. Publications.

Howard kept busy in his retirement years volunteering for several years as an Aviator at the Sky Harbor Airport. He also worked part time for Arizona Hors D’oeuvres in Tempe and eventually started a position at the McCormick Stillman Train Park in Scottsdale.  His lifelong passion for collecting and running model trains made this his dream job.  Howard was a member of the Paradise and Pacific Railroad Club of Scottsdale, where he made many friends who shared his love of model trains.  Howard’s amazing sense of humor and generosity made him incredibly memorable and won him friends all over the globe. 

Howard was a devoted father, husband, grandfather and beloved member of his extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Richard Neft, his in-laws Dr. Leonard and Naomi Favus and his beloved wife of 51 years, Susie.  Howard is survived by his children Jordan Neft and Rachel (Chris) DePalma, grandchildren Isaac and Adeline DePalma. He will be greatly missed by  beloved nephews, nieces, cousins, sisters-in law, brothers-in-law and special close friends from around the world.  Services will be held at Paradise Garden Memorial Park in Scottsdale on Tuesday, January 30th. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org/donate.html  or Hospice of the Valley https://www.hov.org/donate/