Black, John Neal

John Neal Black

November 25, 1936 - September 16, 2020

John Neal Black passed away on September 16, 2020, surrounded by his adoring wife and two loving children. Born on November 25, 1936 in East Grand Forks, MN, to John Andrew and Fern Eriel Flaherty Black, John was a hardworking and dedicated businessman who fiercely loved his family. A longtime oilman, he built a fun-filled, happy life in Texas with his wife and lifetime love, Doris, but his heart always brought him back to Minnesota. Most especially, to a cabin homesteaded by his grandmother Christina Black on Grace Lake in Bemidji, MN where he and his family spent every summer making memories that he cherished for all of his life.

John grew up alongside his large, extended family all working together in their family-owned Black’s Bakery and Sweet Shop.  A natural leader, he excelled in sports, as quarterback with his high school football team and shooting guard for the basketball team. He was valedictorian of his high school class. As an undergrad, he earned a B.A. degree in Petroleum Engineering at the University of North Dakota and was an active member of Beta Theta Pi.  He then headed to Texas with his new bride to attend graduate school at Texas A&M.  Prior to entering the professional workforce, John served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and was assigned as Battery Commander while stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington.

John’s long and distinguished oil and gas career began in the oil patch of Odessa, Texas with Cities Service Oil Company and continued on to Bartlesville, Oklahoma where he and Doris lived for six years with their three young children.  In 1970, John moved his family to Houston where he worked in property acquisitions for General Crude Oil Company for ten years. Then, a move to Dallas in 1980 brought John to Thomson Monteith managing oil and gas acquisitions.  The last 15 years of John’s career was spent back in Houston working as Executive Vice President for Floyd Oil Company.  His colleagues remember him as a loyal, honest businessman with longtime industry relationships and a strong mentor to others.

Once retired, John enjoyed traveling extensively with Doris and their friends, ballroom dancing and playing golf as much as possible. He treasured the time he was able to spend with their grandchildren watching their activities, celebrating their birthdays and achievements, teaching them how to fish and simply sharing the stories of his life with them.

John was a Certified Professional Engineer and a longtime member and past President of the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers; a member of both the Dallas and Houston Petroleum Clubs, Prestonwood Country Club, Kingwood Country Club and Deerwood Country Club. Additionally, John and Doris were longtime members and supporters of both King of Glory Lutheran Church of Dallas and First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood.

John is survived by his wife of 62 years, Doris Jean Knutson Black; two of his three children: son, David Black (wife, Rebecca) of Dallas and daughter Laura Black Price (husband, Lee) of McKinney; and grandchildren Avery and Barron Black and Alexandria and Anna Price. Also surviving him are his brother and sister-in-law, Dennis and Rose Black, and sister and brother-in-law, Leslie Sue and Dick Goodwin.

John was preceded in death by his eldest son Brian Black, his sister Roberta Dawn and his parents.

A private memorial will take place with family to celebrate John’s generous spirit and love for life.  In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to: King of Glory Lutheran Church for music, in memory of John Neal Black, at 6422 LBJ Fwy., Dallas, TX  75340 or Grace Lake Watershed Improvement Association, in memory of John Neal Black, at 3610 Heights Ct. St. Cloud, MN 56301.

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So deeply sorry to hear of your husband’s passing Doris and your father’s passing David and Laurie. Your family is in my prayers.
Ellen Slater, September 27, 2020 John was in our confirmation class at St Mark's Lutheran in Grand Forks. He was well liked and a class guy. I lost track of John when he moved to the East Side but I never forgot him. RIP Jack Brustad , September 26, 2020 Good bye old friend. It was a pleasure to know you. One of the good guys. Always a smile on your face. Please say hi to all our relatives up there, especially Grand Ma Black, Tib and Norma and John and Fern. Love Tom Tom Thibedeau, September 22, 2020 One of my first Grand Forks memories is traveling to your wedding Smudgy...doctor called him a "little smudge of a Black"; was always a hero to us. He will be missed We too lost one too soon (Matthew) and have established a scholarship in his name at Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead MN. We would like to add Smudgy to the memorial list /bt robert thibedeau, September 22, 2020