|Ben Richard Neece
Cameron County Libertarian Party
|December 12, 2023 (aged 68)
Ben Richard Neece (April 1, 1955 – December 12, 2023) was a Libertarian who served as Chair of the Cameron County Libertarian Party from 2006 until 2012. Neece was also a prominent member of the Brownsville community, serving as a Municipal Court Judge for 32 years and as District 4 City Commissioner for 4 years.
Early Life and Background
Born to parents Ruby Hinojosa and Benjamin Lafayette Neece, Neece attended Brownsville High School, then received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from St. Mary's University in Texas in 1977, before obtaining his law degree from St. Mary's University School of Law in 1981. Neece was issued his license to practice law in Texas on October 30, 1981. Neece also received his Mediation Certificate from Texas Southmost College - Harvard and studied Basics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Brownsville Campus. He spoke both English and Spanish.
Neece started a solo law practice, Law Office of Ben R. Neece, in October 1981 which specialized in business, criminal, family, international, commercial litigation, juvenile, and non-profit law. In January 2020, Neece formed Neece Legal Solutions, PLLC, where he served as Lead Counsel, working alongside his sons Benjamin Adam Neece and Joshua Duane H. Neece.
Neece was incredibly prominent in the Brownsville community, known for his empathy and compassion, commitment to music and arts, and humanitarian service to the community, especially the underrepresented and less fortunate. Neece served on the boards of the Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts, the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, the Brownsville Historical Association, and the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival. He supported many local causes, including the Good Neighbor Settlement House, Noche Gitana Flamenco at the George Ramirez Performing Arts Center, Revival of Cultural Arts, the South Texas Afghanistan Iraq Veterans Association, and the Ozanam Center. He also served as chairman of a local homeless shelter and as a local contact for the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program, helping to provide representation to people suffering from addiction or mental health issues.
His notable work in the Brownsville community included pioneering a revitalization of the downtown area, including opening saloons, running a café, and leading the effort to establish Earth Day festivities. Neece served as Municipal Court Judge from August 1984 until 2016 (10 years as presiding judge) and as District 4 City Commissioner from May 2017 to May 2021. During his term, he helped with the installation of security cameras and the downtown police substation. He also fought for transparency and exposed improprieties within the local government.
Neece was passionate about music, especially UK ’70s rock, including The Beatles. Neece was a member of several rock bands, including Lords of D’Nile, The Earthmen, and La Sirena, where he played guitar and sang vocals. Neece also performed solo as “Benito de la Villa Moreno.”
Neece served as Chair of the Cameron County Libertarian Party from 2006 until 2012.
Neece sadly died at a local hospital after succumbing to a heart attack while exercising on a treadmill at a Gold's Gym. He is survived by his sons Benjamin Adam Neece, Joshua Duane H. Neece, Brandan Mark X. Neece, and Matthew Glen Neece, and his brother, Robert Duane Neece. Neece was known for his big personality, willingness to speak his mind, and his passion for law, music, and his community. His impact on the Brownsville community was profound and many local residents mourned his passing.