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Family, friends recall fond memories of Moore Township victim William Neith

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 16 2014 05:08:46 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 17 2014 05:23:56 AM CST

Explosion victim remembered

MOORE TWP., Pa. -

William Neith, who was killed Friday in a Northampton County home explosion, spent a lifetime making music.

It was a passion he inherited from his father.

"He was a really good drummer, a good friend. We are all going to miss him," said John Havassy a, band-mate.

"A rock-and-roller back in the 70s," said James Neith, his brother.

Friends nicknamed the talented drummer "Wild Bill."

Family members said Neith had chased his dreams of being a famous musician cross-country.

"In the late 70s, he went to California with his band. They moved to California to make it big. I guess it didn't work out," Neith said.

In the 90s, he came back home to the Lehigh Valley.

At age 65, he was still rocking. He performed with "Banned from the Ranch," a local country band.

But he was also a brother and a fighter.

"A lung cancer survivor. He had lung cancer and after surviving that 10 years ago, what a way to go," Neith said.

A decade after beating cancer, Neith was tragically killed in his Moore Township house.

On Friday, a massive explosion almost instantaneously leveled the Hickory Hills mobile home he shared with his girlfriend.

Friends and family said Neith had expressed serious safety concerns about his property last week.

"They've smelled propane for the last week or so," Neith said.

"The furnace wasn't working properly. He had talked to our bass player about it, and he had said it was shutting off in the middle of the night," Havassy said.

They said Neith tried to do something about it.

Crews inspected his property just days ago.

"I guess they couldn't find any problems, and said there was nothing wrong; apparently there was," Neith said.

Neighbors tell 69 News they have had ongoing issues with propane in the community.

"They better take care of them or this might not be the last one," said Tom Hodulik, a neighbor.

Moore Township police said they are still investigating what caused the blast, but said gas may have played a role.

Propane lines were shut off Friday night.