Neil A. Nottingham Jr.
September 29, 1937 – November 1, 2022
Neil Alwin Nottingham Jr., our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother, passed from this life on November 1, 2022, after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 85 years old.
Born on September 29, 1937, in Los Angeles to Neil Alwin and Helen Lucille (Deckrow) Nottingham, Neil graduated from San Bernardino High School with the Class of 1955. Upon graduation from high school, Neil went to work for the United States Forest Service. During his tenure with the USFS, Neil was drafted and served in the United States Army where he was a Screaming Eagle in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Ever the practical, rational thinker, Neil often wondered why soldiers would jump out of perfectly good airplanes.
Neil once lost his wallet at the Crestline pharmacy and ended up marrying the theater employee who found and returned it. After a decade with the Forest Service, Neil was hired by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, where he fought some of LA’s largest and highest fires, saved countless lives, and fearlessly drove his fire truck through the riots and civil unrest of both the 1960s and 1990s. He retired as a captain after nearly 30 years with the LAFD, “the greatest fire department” on earth.
During the “Old Fire” of 2003 in the San Bernardino Mountains, Neil refused to evacuate the mountain and instead stayed to keep watch over his properties and those of his friends. Eventually he began traveling all over the burn areas to check on properties and animals for anyone who asked and became known as “Ranger Al.” With over a million hits per day on the website tracking his movements, Ranger Al quickly became a local celebrity, being interviewed on local news stations and radio programs.
In 2011, after the death of his eternal companion, Linda, Neil married Diane Ellsworth.
As evidenced by his lifetime of service to his community Neil found joy in helping the less fortunate, the hitchhiker, the sick, the homeless and anyone else he saw in need. Neil’s life was one of Christlike, tireless service.
He loved playing cards with anyone willing to play and was always just as happy to see his opponent win as he was when he won. Neil also loved fishing, waterskiing, camping, handball, talking, visiting with friends, traveling, family history, listening to his family members’ music, visiting with and hearing about his grandchildren and telling stories.
He lived most of his life in San Bernardino and Crestline and spent his last few years living in Banning. Neil was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he served in many capacities such as Young Men President, Elders Quorum President, High Councilor and Bishop. He also served a full-time mission with his wife, Diane. He loved sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone.
Neil is preceded in death by his parents; his wife and eternal companion, Linda Lee (Baker) Nottingham; and his grandson, Seth Patrick Nottingham.
Survivors include Neil’s wife Diane Ellsworth Nottingham; children Dana (Danna) Nottingham, Dacy (Amy) Nottingham, Dori Nottingham; grandchildren Katy Nottingham, Kolby (Carrie) Nottingham, Claire Nottingham, Finn (Asher) Nottingham, Evan Nottingham, Edie Nottingham, Nathan Nottingham, Benjamin Nottingham, Cameron Wilson; great-grandchildren Thomas and Blake Nottingham; and his two brothers, Roger and Terry Nottingham.
A funeral service will be held Monday, November 14, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel located at 350 Wabash Ave., Redlands, with a viewing that same morning from 9:00 to 9:45. Interment will be at the Riverside National Cemetery.