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About Terry Nealey

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Terry Nealey was born in Walla Walla, Washington in 1947. His parents moved the family to a farm in Whitman County that produced wheat, cattle and hay. Terry’s family consisted of his twin brother Tedd and younger sister Becky. After graduating from LaCrosse High School, Terry attended Washington State University and participated in the Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC). When he graduated from WSU in 1969, he was honored as a Distinguished Military Graduate. It was also on that day that he was commissioned into the US Army as a Second Lieutenant.

In the fall of 1969, Terry began his service in the US Army as a Military Police Lieutenant. Terry spent his first year stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland and his second year was spent in Korea.

During his attendance at LaCrosse High School, Terry met the love of his life, Jan Copp.  They have been married for 40 years and have two adult children. Their son Keith is married to Walla Walla native, Julie Metzger, and they have three children. Their daughter Kristin is married to Paul Meier of Seattle and they have two children.

In 1971, Terry was honorably discharged from the US Army and he and Jan returned to Spokane. Terry enrolled in Gonzaga Law School and graduated from there in 1974.

Professional Experience

Upon graduation from Gonzaga, Terry worked as an attorney for two years in Spokane. In early 1976, Terry joined with Dayton attorney H.N. “Bert” Woolson, where they formed the Woolson-Nealey Law Firm, a partnership that also included Dayton Title Company. “Bert” Woolson retired in 1982, and Terry practiced solo for a year. In 1983, Terry formed a new partnership with Scott Marinella and they have been together ever since.

For 32 years, the practice has represented farmers and other agricultural interests, corporate and business entities, including real estate transactions, and assisting clients with estate planning.

Clients include Dayton Hospital District, Port of Columbia, Columbia County Grain Growers, and the Columbia County Farm Bureau.

Terry also served as the Prosecuting Attorney/Coroner for Columbia County for 16 years. This position included prosecution of criminals and the civil representation of all county departments. He is presently the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee for the Eastern District of Washington that includes Benton, Columbia, Franklin, and Walla Walla Counties.

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Professional Memberships

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Walla Walla County Bar Association
  • Eastern District Federal Bar Association
  • National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees 
  • Walla Walla Valley Estate Planning Council
    • Past President 
  • Hells Canyon Bar Association

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Community Involvement

Current & Past Organization Memberships

  • Dayton Chamber of Commerce
    • Board of Directors
    • Past President
    • 2001 Citizen of the Year
  • Economic Development Committee
    • Founder & Chairman
  • First Christian Church of Dayton
    • Board of Directors
  • Dayton Young Life
    • Co-Founder & Committee Member
  • Touchet Valley Golf Course
    • Board of Directors
  • Dayton Kiwanis Club
    • Past President
  • Dayton Task Force
    • Board of Directors
  • Blue Mountain Community Foundation
    • Board of Directors
  • Columbia County Courthouse Renovation Committee
  • Washington State Cattlemen's Association
  • Washington Association of Wheat Growers
  • Columbia County Farm Bureau

    Community Leadership Accomplishments

    • Organized and coordinated community members and businesses to install lights on baseball fields
    • Participated in a committee of four to raise funds and construct the metal foot bridge across the Touchet River connecting the high school and the athletic fields
    • Led the effort to design and purchase the Welcome signs & create a greenbelt entrance to Dayton
    • Served as head and assistant coach for Boys & Girls High School Basketball Teams
    • Assistant Basketball Coach – Boys State Championship Team 1995
    • Dayton/Columbia County Washington Fund – a subsidiary of the Blue Mountain Community Foundation – Instrumental in establishing
    • In 1998, Terry and his business partner and friend Scott Marinella donated the Liberty Theater in Dayton to the Touchet Valley Arts Council, a non profit organization.

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