Neal Franklin Blassingame, Jr. was born on June 11, 1973 in Portland, Oregon to mother, Shirley Lowe and father, Neal Blassingame, Sr. (deceased). He graduated from Jefferson High School where he also served as the basketball coach in the late 2000s.
Neal was a natural born leader — at the age of 7 months, he not only learned how to climb out of his crib and walk, but he also taught the other kids how to climb out as well. This early development as a leader and helper would serve as his launchpad into his years as an athlete — track, football, and basketball. In fact, as a sophomore, he and his varsity basketball teammates traveled to Sapporo, Japan for the Junior Sports Exchange in Men’s Basketball in 1988.
His hard work, leadership, and athleticism gave him the solid foundation to create and enjoy a successful 20+ year career as a personal trainer, IFBB Pro Body Builder, and business owner.
As a trainer to top athletes nationwide, Neal specialized in strength and endurance training, which fed the popularity of his brands: Pass and Cut, #NOXCUSES, and Body by Blass (BBB). In a recent profile of him, he said: “There are no excuses to the things I want to achieve: working out, training, growing my business, etc. My brand name [#NOXCUSES] is my lifestyle and the lifestyle of so many others.”
In addition to pursuing his passion of fitness and helping others with their wellness journey, Neal enjoyed all groups of friends. For nearly 30 years, he was a part of the 833 crew — a collective of childhood and boyhood friends, all of whom considered him a brother.
Affectionately known as “Big Blass” or “Blass” by his friends, to family he was, Neal. The quiet and humble kid and adult who would light up the room with his big smile and 6’ 3” (lean or bulky) stature. He enjoyed cracking jokes and laughing, traveling to the Oregon Coast, watching his beloved Cowboys, and as a kid he enjoyed softshell taco nights with the new taco flavored Doritos, “those nights were the best,” he’d say. As an adult, whenever he took a break from his clean, healthy eating habits, he’d enjoy a slice of carrot cake — one of his favorites.
Neal is survived by his mother, Shirley Lowe; wife, Mena Kamara whom he wed in August 2011; five children: Nia Blassingame, Niles Blassingame, Kamara Blassingame, Blaise Blassingame, and Blayke Blassingame; three siblings: Ron Lincoln, LaTina Lewis, and TreNeal Blassingame; and a whole host of uncles, aunts, niece and nephew, cousins, extended family, and friends.
Preceded him in death: his father, Neal Blassingame, Sr.; brother, Nicholas “Nic” Blassingame; and step father, Lorenzo Lewis.
Neal touched the lives of many. He was adored by family, loved by friends, and a superhero to the community. Neal will be missed tremendously and his legacy of hard work, dedication, perseverance, kindness, and wisdom will remain in everyone forever.
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