Attorney Douglas James Neuman passed away peacefully on May 13, 2023 of multiple organ failure. He was 71 years old. Doug was born to Theodore Neuman and Edna Grapatin Neuman of Geneva, Ohio, on March 14, 1952. He spent his youth with his four brothers milking cows, baling hay, and playing endless sports. Doug was the Valedictorian of his Geneva High School graduating class of 1970 and graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University with degrees in chemistry and history. He graduated from law school at Case Western Reserve.
Doug married Billie Jane Porter on March 9, 1974, and for the next 49 years they were inseparable, working together, traveling the world, and raising four children. After passing the bar in Ohio and Florida in 1977, Doug moved his family to Niles to join Billie’s cousin, R.C. Westenfield, in his law practice. Doug relished the opportunity to solve challenging real estate and probate-related problems for many people in the Mahoning Valley over a period for 45 years. He particularly enjoyed the complexities of legal work, as well as the opportunities it gave him to help his friends and neighbors navigate difficult situations.
Doug was still active in his business at the time of his death, working closely with his partner, Michael Fredericka, and with his extraordinary office staff, Jamie and Linda, who were always patient with him even when his health problems posed challenges. Mike will continue the business in his absence. During his career, Doug also served as general counsel for Security Dollar Bank and was the elected Law Director for the City of Niles, roles which gave him the opportunity to argue three cases before the Ohio Supreme Court.
A type 1 diabetic from the age of 13, Doug got a life-changing call early one morning in 1992: a matching donor had been found for a kidney and pancreas double organ transplant in Minnesota. The procedure greatly improved his health and extended his life. He never took his time for granted after that, traveling throughout the USA and to 34 countries on 5 continents including China, Egypt, India, Japan, and Peru. He was a lifelong student of history and art, so traveling with him, through Europe in particular, was like attending a master class.
He felt blessed to serve the Niles community in a variety of roles. He rarely missed a Niles Rotary Club meeting, and he also volunteered as a Boy Scout Cub Master and youth soccer coach. He loved his church family at First Christian in Niles, where he served as an Elder, a Sunday School teacher, and choir member. He looked forward to hamming it up as the emcee for the church’s Mardi Gras celebrations and in his annual role as Caiaphas in the Easter Passion play.
In high school Doug was proud to be on the winning tennis team and academic challenge team that repeatedly defeated its Cleveland area rivals. He was the pitcher on winning softball teams for the Geneva Lutheran Church and First Christian Church of Niles. He was an avid golfer and he and Billie (after many lessons) were ballroom dancers.
Doug always had a story to tell and a laugh that warmed every room. He loved spending time with his many good friends and family At most any gathering you could find Doug playing a game surrounded by his friends, children, grand-children, nieces, and nephews. His grandchildren particularly remember his love of corny jokes, silly songs, and skits; and the—often indecipherable hand-drawn rebus messages he sent to his family every Valentine’s Day. He was the best person to have on your team in a trivia contest, and the worst person to have on your team in any game that involved drawing.
Doug and Billie have four children and three grandchildren, of whom he was very proud. They are Dr. Benjamin Neuman (Nicola Benning) of College Station, Texas; Jacob Neuman of Winter Park, Florida; Rebecca Neuman of Euclid, Ohio; and Samuel Neuman (Ryan McPhee) of New York City. Their grandchildren are Isaac Neuman, Theia Neuman, and Vegas Clark.
Doug is also survived by his brothers, Ted Neuman (Linda) of Jackson, New Jersey; Craig Neuman (Bessie) of Geneva, Ohio; Tom Neuman (Cindy) of Geneva, Ohio; and Jeff Neuman (Mary Ann) of Kirtland, Ohio.
Doug requests that you join his family for a celebration of life at Ciminero’s Banquet Center, 123 North Main Street, Niles, Ohio 44446 on Sunday, May 21, 2023 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.. Memories will be shared after 7:00.
No flowers, please. If you wish to make a donation in his name, please send it to First Christian Church of Niles, 33 N. Arlington, Niles, Ohio 44446.
Arrangements by the Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home, 126 West Park Avenue, Niles, Ohio 44446.
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