Don McNeely was born and raised in Cape Girardeau, Mo. and graduated from Central High. He began his career in broadcasting when he was only 16 years old and still a high school student. Due to the Second World War, there was a shortage of young men, and one of his teachers recommended him to become an instructor on KFVS Radio.
In 1945 he was drafted, following his discharge, he returned to Cape and received his bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University. He then went to Northwestern University where he earned a master’s degree in broadcasting.
He chose to return to KFVS and eventually he would become one of the most recognizable faces in the whole broadcast area as KFVS-TV’s chief weatherman. In 1993 he retired from working full time exactly 50 years after his beginning in broadcasting. He received many honors and tributes both locally and nationally for his service.
But Don also was an actor and musician. When he returned to Cape after the war and getting his education, he formed his own band and played extensively for years. Both at Central High School and when he was a student at Southeast, he appeared in a number of plays. Later he became very active in community theater in Cape. His proudest theatrical experience was in 1974 when he appeared as Benjamin Franklin in the University’s production of “1776.” For that role he was awarded a Best Actor of the Year Award.
Although retired, he continues to do commercial and promotional spots for KFVS-TV.