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Don Neyer, a former CEO of Al Neyer and a Legend in Real Estate, died November 18, 2023 at the age of 93.
Neyer, along with his brothers Ray and Tom, was part of the fourth generation to join the family business. Don Neyer was an early adopter of the design-build method. Dave Neyer, Don’s son, also a former CEO of Al Neyer and former Chair of ULI Cincinnati, said his dad was a man focused on family, faith and philanthropy.
“If there is one person on this Earth I want to model my life around, it’d be my dad,” Dave Neyer said.
Dan Neyer, Don’s son, CEO of Neyer Properties, and long-time member of ULI Cincinnati, said he worked closely with his dad from 1981 to 1994. “He was my boss, my mentor and my hero,” Dan Neyer said.
Don Neyer and his late wife Phyllis had a total of eight children, 32 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren, including granddaugher, Amanda Kladakis, a long-time ULI member and Director of Operations at Neyer Properties.
Don worked at Al Neyer for 45 years, helping to grow the construction and development company.
Dave Neyer said his dad spent a lot of his time at work teaching those around him, especially those younger than him. He said there are probably hundreds of examples of people who said Don Neyer taught them so much, was fair and kind to them. The University of Cincinnati awarded him with the Distinguished Real Estate Award for Service.
Molly North, CEO of Al Neyer, said “Don put Al Neyer on the map as a construction leader in service to our communities, a purpose that continues today. We will forever celebrate the kind of leader that Don was in the business and in our region and nurture that family spirit that Don cultivated many years ago at Al Neyer.”
But while Don Neyer would never diminish his business accomplishments, Dave Neyer said the success and growth he achieved and the foundation he set for future expansion would not rank among his top 10 accomplishments.
“Family, faith and charitable endeavors would dwarf his own perception of what he was most proud of,” Dave Neyer said.
Don Neyer received the Wally Emmerling award because he exemplified the Rotary values of high professional and personal ethics, leadership and promotion of goodwill as a lifelong Rotarian and past president. Council on Aging recognized him as an “outstanding caregiver,” and Pro Seniors awarded him a “Senior Who Rocks” because of his devotion, caregiving and advocacy for his wife Phyllis Neyer, who suffered from dementia.
“I saw his love toward her and others grow once she was diagnosed with dementia,” Dan Neyer said. “You either run away or lean in, and make the most and best of it. He certainly leaned in in a very large way.”
In 2020, Don Neyer was named a Greatest Living Cincinnatian by the Cincinnati Regional Chamber. He received the St. Xavier High School highest alumni honor, the “Insignis” award in 1999. In 2022, Don was recognized by ULI Cincinnati as a Legend in Real Estate.
“He never gave of himself to get recognition,” Dave Neyer said. “He did it because he felt like it was the right thing to do.”
ULI Cincinnati and his construction and development family send our thoughts and prayers to Don’s family and friends. Information about services can be found here.