The High Desert Community Mourns The Loss Of Friend Jimmie Lee Veal

Jimmie Veal
Jimmie Lee Veal

Jimmie Lee Veal, age 85, passed away on December 15, 2019. Born April 23, 1934 in Doddsville, Mississippi, he was the youngest of eleven sons born to Mingo and Healena Veal.    

Mr. Veal attended school in a country school in Doddsville, Mississippi and received his High School from Okolona College in Okolona, Mississippi which was added to the National Register of Historical Places on August 9, 2002.  Upon graduation, he left to join the military, serving in the United States Air Force. He met the love of his life, Hazel Wells, while on military break in Drew, Mississippi. They corresponded by mail until the young private returned to Mississippi and asked her to be his wife. They wed, started their family and began their journey as a military family.   

Jimmie served in the Air Force for 20 years, attaining the rank of Master Sargent (MSgt.).  He was stationed on military bases throughout the world including temporary duty at Chateauroux Air Force Base (AFB) in France, and Landstuhl Medical Center Army in Germany, Mather AFB in Sacramento, California, Amarillo AFB in Texas, Tripoli AFB in Libya, Africa and The US Logistics Group (TUSLOG) in Ankara, Turkey. After multiple moves with his growing young family of four children, MSgt. Veal completed his tour of duty at George Air Force Base in Victorville, California where he served until his retirement in 1973.  He took a series of training courses at every opportunity and also matriculated in college courses through the University of Maryland. MSgt. Veal trained service personnel and provided Tactical Air Command training services to the Combat Support Group at George Air Force. During his service he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. 

Even before his retirement, MSgt. Veal laid the groundwork in 1968 for his post-retirement career by opening the first African American-owned business in the Victor Valley area and his first car lot, properly named Veal’s Auto Sales in Adelanto.  He understood what the service personnel needed – a clean, reliable car that was affordable on a military paycheck. After the success of the car lot he invested further in the Adelanto community by providing an entertainment alternative, Bo’s Lounge, complete with good music, affordable food and ready company on any given night. 

Jimmie sought to be the consummate provider to his family and even while operating two independent businesses took his natural penchant for sales and became an insurance salesman with Prudential Insurance Company.  His calming and honest approach to sales, allowed him to earn the honor of Top Salesman each and every year that he worked with the company. He often told stories of the many families that called to thank him for providing them access to the means for their comfort after the loss of a loved one.

MSgt. Veal continued to engage in car sales eventually relocating to Victorville and renaming the business J & H Auto Sales. His love for car sales and the art of conversation that comes with ascertaining ones need, led him to work part time at Sunrise Ford in Fontana.  Working only part time, he was still their Best Salesman and relished in training the younger, less experienced salesmen in the art of the trade. 

Msgt. Veal was an avid sports fan with his favorite teams being the Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers and Rams.  Msgt. Veal was preceded in death by his parents, Mingo and Healena and nine of his ten siblings Clifton, Charlie, Artie Palmer, Mingo, Ira, Lawrence, Joe, Percy, and Luther.  He is survived by his lone brother, James, his wife Hazel Veal, four children Patricia Veal, Steven Veal, Carolyn Veal-Hunter (Dale) and Bonita Veal, four grandchildren, Candice, Jennifer, Sydney and Jordan, two great grandchildren Nolan and Evan and a host of nieces and nephews. 

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