Richard Neeld, 77, Was Jazz Writer, Radio Host

Richard Hoagland Neeld, 77, died Nov. 9 of complications following heart bypass surgery. He had lived on the Island since taking early retirement in 1982.

In 1965, he and his wife purchased a summer home in Menemsha, where they and family members enjoyed long seasons each year, moving down-Island during the cold months.

A recognized authority on jazz from its beginnings in the early 1920s through the bebop era, he was for 10 years the host of Dick Neeld's Jazz Corner, a radio program broadcast in the northern New Jersey-New York city area. He transferred the program, renamed Jazz Tides, to WMVY in 1982, continuing every Sunday morning for two years until the station changed its programming format. Since that time, he kept up monthly reviews for Jersey Jazz, a publication of the New Jersey Jazz Society, of which he was a founding member in 1972 and for which he later served as president. His writings have also appeared in other national jazz magazines.

Mr. Neeld's activities on-Island included membership on the Oak Bluffs Arts Council and the Oak Bluffs Conservation Commission. Since the late 1980s he had been an editor of the monthly newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Martha's Vineyard.

A member of senior management at the Prudential corporation's headquarters in Newark, N.J., for more than 30 years, Mr. Neeld directed administrative field training procedures for the company's ordinary agencies division.

Mr. Neeld was a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio. During World War II he was a weather technician for the Army Air Force, serving, among other places, at bases on the Azores, where he learned to love islands.

He is survived by his wife, Judith Phillips Neeld of Tisbury and Menemsha; two children, Gordon Phillips Neeld of Belle Mead, N.J., and Nancy Neeld Vander Veen of Sparta, N.J., and their spouses; his sister, Jane Neeld Russell of Madison, N.J., and three grandchildren.

A private interment service will be held, and a celebration of Mr. Neeld's life will take place at a later date. Memorial gifts may be sent to the Vineyard Committee on Hunger, P.O. Box 1874, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or the UUSMV Memorial Fun, P.O. Box 1236, also in Vineyard Haven.