Writer Neil Shalin Death – Dead | Obituary – Passed Away
Neil Shalin Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Neil Shalin.
Having heard about this great loss, the family of this individual is passing through pains, mourning the unexpected passing of their beloved.
This departure was confirmed through social media posts made by Twitter users who pour out tributes, and condolences to the family of the deceased.
I’ve written a lot of stories/articles in my life, but this is one I was hoping to avoid for several more years . . .
My father Neil Shalin passed away on Saturday due to complications from a stroke suffered in late May. After three months alone in a rehab facility (with a lot of FaceTime, but extremely limited outdoor visits due to COVID precautions) and another month in the hospital, we brought him home two weeks ago. Since then, he has been surrounded by loved ones, including his five beloved grandsons (who missed their Paca Neil), and the time was spent watching basketball, late-night talk shows and sitcoms and eating lots of ice cream.
It was the ending my dad deserved. Still, I feel like I have not only lost the greatest father one could ask for . . . but also a lifelong best friend.
Over the years, my father loved my sister and me unconditionally (as my mother continues to do), he was our biggest fan and viewed every moment of being a parent and grandparent with sheer joy (and I definitely tested this as a child). Father and grandfather were the roles he was born to play.
My dad always coached our teams, was a great study partner, quiz master, bedtime singer, editor and sounding board. His career decisions were based on spending as much time with the family as possible. He and my mom celebrated their 50th anniversary this past March, and they were great role models for what a loving, healthy marriage looks like.
My dad was brilliant, funny, a great writer and storyteller with an uncanny memory and an encyclopedic knowledge of and passion for so many topics: sports, movies, music, television shows, Broadway, history, politics, civil rights. He passed these interests to my sister and me (after doing so to his two younger brothers), and this has filtered down to his grandsons, all of whom are sort of built in his image. It’s quite a legacy.
My dad worked in public relations for MetLife for 28 years, starting in his native New York City before being transferred to Naperville/Aurora in 1979. He retired in 1999 and became a sportswriter for local newspapers, while also publishing multiple baseball books. But it was my dad’s eclectic mix of work and life experiences that made him such a colorful person and served as the subject matter for his great stories.
My dad regularly talked about his childhood in 1950s New York, which was the mecca of sports at the time. The city had one, and often two, of its three baseball teams in the World Series every year (my dad was a Giants fan). Meanwhile, he often fondly recalled – and remembered in great detail – attending numerous college and NBA basketball doubleheaders at the old Madison Square Garden.
As a 13-year-old in Queens, my dad organized a charity high school basketball tournament for many of the best players in New York. Who does that? In his early 20s, he was the PA announcer and PR man for the Roller Derby, traveling with “derby” and encountering what can only be described as a memorably unique group of skaters and fans.
In the 1960s, Neil and his brothers Steve and Mike coached a high school summer league basketball team, which featured future college and pro players. Though they once turned down the chance to bring in a young player from Long Island because he didn’t have a car to get to the games . . . his name was Julius Erving. My dad later worked for the ABA’s New York Nets and was a college scout for the Philadelphia 76ers.
My dad, working as a young reporter, covered and met the Beatles when they arrived at the airport ahead of a 1966 gig, he was a fan in the crowd at Newport in 1965 when Bob Dylan “plugged in” for the first time and he sat in the third row at Chicago Stadium in 1988 for the Michael Jordan/Dominique Wilkins greatest dunk contest of all time. This resulted in him appearing in numerous posters and calendars shot during that iconic event. You can still walk into sports bars all over Chicago and clearly see a 43-year-old Neil just beyond MJ’s elevated sneaker. Or, as my dad liked to say: Michael Jordan was in HIS poster.
My dad’s interests and experiences, and the stories about them, helped shape me as a person. So, it meant everything when I was able to influence him, like helping to turn him into a big Michigan State sports fan or fostering his interest in English soccer. The 2007 soccer trip we took together to London (five matches in six days) was an unforgettable week together.
In recent years, it made me so happy that my boys Aaron and Kyle (and Joanna’s three boys Luke, Shay and Casey) were able to bring my dad so much happiness. Neil’s father passed away before the birth of his grandchildren, so I think my dad cherished every moment of the last 12 years spent as a Paca.
As my sister and I discussed recently, some end-of-life experiences include family members finally saying what they hadn’t been able to say previously. But that was not our experience. We always knew how much our dad loved us (and how much he loved our mom and our kids), and we all spent our lives telling him how much we loved him.
I’ll miss so much about my dad. But what I’ll probably miss the most is just having the ability to pick up the phone to chat with him, about sports, politics, or simply about our day. I spoke to my father nearly every day of my life . . . seriously . . . and we never ran out of things to say. It’s hard to believe he’s gone.
Having worked with Neil for 17 years, this one was tough to write. He was not only a colleague but a friend. I’m grateful for the opportunity to know him and work with him and now memorialize him here. May his memory be a blessing to his family.
We are still working on getting more details about the death, as a family statement on the death is yet to be released.