Neal Hamilton Platt
Neal Platt was born in Mobile, Alabama, to Nelson and Barbara Platt on Nov. 11, 1949. In 1973 he graduated from St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana with a B.A. Degree in History and Philosophy. He received the M.A. Degree in Church History from Mount St. Mary's Graduate School of Theology in Maryland. In April 1976 he was ordained to the diaconate in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mobile; his ordination to the priesthood took place March 19, 1977. From 1974 to 1984 he was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and served as a chaplain.
Fr. Platt was received as an Episcopal priest in May 1987. From 1987 to 1990 he served as Vicar in three small mission churches in the Diocese of Mississippi. There he served on the board of Holmes County Habitat for Humanity. From November 1990 to June 1994 he was Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Holly Springs, Miss., and Vicar of Calvary Episcopal Church, Michigan City. During that time he helped to lead the diocese’s summer camp session for mentally retarded children. He was then called as Rector of St. Paul’s, Woodville. He served as a Spiritual Director on Cursillo weekends and as chaplain at Trinity Episcopal Day School in Natchez. He also led services for a new congregation in Vidalia, La., in the Diocese of West Louisiana. From 1996 to 2001 he was rector of St. Matthew’s, Covington, Tenn. At that time he became a leader of Kairos prison ministry.
The parish of St. Andrew’s in Breckenridge, Texas, called Fr. Platt as rector in 2001. Always fond of small-town life, he enjoyed spending time among the people in the ranching community on the western edge of the diocese; he was greeted by name by Episcopalians and non-Episcopalians alike. An insulin-dependent diabetic, Fr. Platt suffered a stroke in 2004. He was serving as Interim Priest-in-Charge at St. Thomas, Jacksboro, at the time of his death.
Fr. Platt was of Scots descent and enjoyed playing highland bagpipes. In addition to his years as a parish priest, his professional experience included positions as a teacher, metallurgist, and executive with the Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of Rotary International.
Fr. Platt was married to the former Victoria Croft. He is also survived by his father and his three children: Heather, 23; Shannon, 16; and Meghan, 10.
A Requiem Mass for Fr. Platt was held at St. Andrew’s in Breckenridge on Monday, March 28.
Rest eternal grant to him, O