Obituary of Nels Grant Moats, Sr.
Nels Grant Moats, Sr., passed away on November 5, 2023 in his home with family at his side, having recently celebrated his 83rd birthday.
Born in New York City October 19, 1940 to William and Beatrice (Snyder) Moats, Nels (Neil) grew up in Brooklyn. In his youth he spent time acting and singing (stage name Butch Calan); a highlight of that experience was performing in Carnegie Hall. Neil also spent extended visits with his grandmother, Carrie Snyder. He graduated from Food Trades High School in 1957 before joining the Air Force in 1958.
Neil was proud of his military service which took him around the world and across the United States to destinations such as Tyndall AFB, FL; Frobisher Bay AB, Baffin Island, Canada; Hancock Field, Syracuse, NY; Cheyenne Mountain (NORAD) in Colorado Springs during its construction phase; Vietnam; FE Warren missile site in Cheyenne, WY; Aviano, Italy; Wiesbaden, Germany; and Peterson AFB, CO. He retired after 20 years in the Air Force in Colorado Springs, and went on to serve 22 years in civil service at Ft. Carson and the Air Force Academy. He was a true patriot.
It was in Cheyenne that Neil met Julie, and they brought together their children Michael (Julie) Moats, Grant (Wendy) Moats, Cheryl (James) Emerick, and Lori Moats, and added one more, Christine (Gary) Cheek. They were married for 49 years, until Julie’s passing in 2019.
Neil loved camping with his family, and sharing his passion for fishing, hunting and target shooting with friends and family. A fun way he enjoyed his gun hobby was by participating in competitive “cowboy shoots,” fancy western wear included. His love of outdoor activities also came in handy as a Boy Scout leader, and the memorable trip he took with Mike and Grant’s troop to Yellowstone.
Neil was known as a jokester, teasing family and strangers, no one was immune. He had a soft spot for dogs, from his childhood Boots to his most recent faithful companion, Velvet.
Neil is preceded in death by his wife, Julianne (Faust), his parents, and older brother William Moats. He is survived by his children, grandchildren [Laura Moats, Kathryn Moats, Olivia Moats, Victoria Emerick, Jack Emerick, Meagan Tucker, Isaiah Jordan, Caleb Jordan, Kenneth Cheek, Victor Cheek, and Cheyenne (Jose) Gallardo], 6 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Neil will be joining Julie in Pikes Peak National Cemetery following a committal service on December 1, 2023, with a celebration of life to follow at his home. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a local pet shelter of your choice.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nels Moats, Sr., please visit Tribute Store