Neal Laing Hulett, age 89, of Granville passed away on February 11, 2009 at Glens Falls Hospital.
Neal was born on Sept. 4, 1919 in Chicopee Falls, Mass., the son of Neal D. and Azuba (Ayres) Hulett.
Neal attended the Mechanical Institute which is now known as the Rochester Institute of Technology. While in Rochester attending school, he worked for Kodak. He graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering and took a position with ChanceVaught aircraft manufacturer. At the early age of 20, he became the night shift supervisor and was the final inspector for all Coursair aircraft as it came off the assemble line at the Bridgeport, Conn., factory. During this time Neal purchased his first airplane a Piper J2 which he flew home to Granville and landed at the area which is currently the Carnival lot on Potter Avenue.
In April of 1947 he founded Northeast Air Service, which is the business that owns and operates the Granville Airport, which he located on the Middle Granville Road, where it still is. Neal enjoyed the time he spent at the airport helping people restore aircraft and sharing his vast knowledge. He especially enjoyed the camaraderie of an afternoon of storytelling in his hangar with the guys.
Neal owned a Dodge franchise called, ‘Mettowee Garage’ from 1960-1970.
For many years he also ran Hulett’s Lime Service which was the supplier of lime to farmers in the Mettow ee Valley.
Neal was known far and wide for his aeronautical abilities and expertise with small aircraft.
Neal always said, “There is money in aviation…..because I put it there.”
Neal was a past member and President of the Granville School Board of Education, serving in the 1960’s. He was a member of Quiet Birdmen (QB’s) for over 50 years, the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) for over 60 years and the Experimental Aircraft Association for many years. He annually attended events at the Piper Museum. At age 80, Neal especially enjoyed a trip he took to Hawaii to visit his daughter. In addition to spending time with her and her family, he made a visit to the grave of Charles Lindberg. This was a highlight of his trip.
Neal is predeceased by his wife Josephine (Williams) Hulett. Survivors are his three daughters: Christine Pimentel and her husband Vernon of Kihei, Hawaii, Nancy Hulett of Granville and Kathleen Bailey and her husband Bob of West Pawlet, Vt. Also surviving is one grandson, Neal Pimentel and his wife Tracy, and a great granddaughter Katelynne all of Kihei, Hawaii.
Friends may call at the Robert M King Funeral Home, 23 Church St. Granville on Sunday, Feb. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At this time there will not be a funeral service. A Memorial service will be held at the Granville Airport at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Piper Aviation Museum, 1 Piper Way, Lock Haven, PA 17745 in Neal’s memory.