Obituary of Howard Lowell Neff
“Howard Lowell Neff, born December 26, 1941, passed away at his home on October 2nd, 2019 surrounded by his family. Before meeting and marrying Sheri, the love of his life, Mr. Neff was proud to have served three years in the United States Army. Howard and Sheri were married for nearly 49 years. Howard’s allegiance to family was his number one priority including his nieces and nephew. He was a farm boy from Indiana where his parents, Thelma and Lowell Neff, taught him life’s important lessons – hard work, responsibility and integrity. These are the very attributes that took him from the farm to Dartmouth College and onto challenging jobs at Johnson & Johnson, Consolidated Aluminum and Applied Materials where he worked for 23 years.
Howard Neff was named to Senior Executive staff and served as Group Vice President, Applied Materials, Inc. of Global Operations and Planning, Interconnect Systems and Modules Product Business Group. The most recent position was Group Vice President Applied Materials, Inc., President and Chief Operating Officer, Applied Komatsu Technology.
Mr. James Morgan, Chairman Emeritus of Applied Materials recently named Howard as one of the key, bright, and talented early executives who created a culture of excellence and integrity at Applied Materials that still exists today as an integral part of the company.
In retirement, he served on the board of Digital Divide Data, serving in Laos, Cambodia and Kenya. Howard believed in the importance of education and gave his support by funding a science wing at his high school and giving scholarships to under privileged students in Cambodia. These were among his countless and varied contributions. Howard was a member of the Palo Alto Rotary Club, the Los Altos Golf & Country Club, and the Big Horn Golf & Country Club in Palm Desert, California. He shared his zest for life and travel with his wife, family and friends.
Howard is survived by his wife, Sheri Neff, of Los Altos, California. Howard is also survived by daughter and son-in-law, Stacey Neff and Jeff Nelson, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, daughter Simeon Bols of San Carlos, California, and grandchildren Hannah Warren, Savannah Bols, Robert Nelson, and sister Julia Kiefer of Newark, New York. He is also survived by his beloved dog Beau.
Interment will be in a family plot in the Dale Cemetery, Connersville, Indiana, amongst generations of his ancestors. A celebration of life will take place at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.”
Sunnyvale Chapel and Crematory
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