RUIDOSO, NM - Neal A. Germain of Ruidoso, New Mexico, passed away at his home, surrounded by friends, on Sunday, September 12, 2021, after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 67.
The son of Howard Germain and Rhoda (Perlstein) Rossmoore, Neal was born in Manhattan, New York, and grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, spending summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, starting when he was 6 years old, where he began many friendships that would last a lifetime, most notably through the West End Racing Club.
In his early 20s he traveled abroad across a number of countries including Israel, where he lived and worked on a Kibbutz, and Greece, where he started a library out of a cardboard box in his spare time.
Neal returned to the U.S. and began a full-time stint in Provincetown, where he opened his first restaurant (in nearby Truro, MA) called "The Place", and eventually went on to work at the Surf Club and Volunteer Fire Department throughout the '80s.
In 1991, Neal picked up and began the next phase of his life, moving to Ruidoso, New Mexico, to open PizzaRio, which moved locations two years later and was renamed CafeRio. Neal ran the cafe for the next 8 years and grew it into the institution it's still known for to this day. More than just a restaurant, CafeRio created a community and camaraderie like none-other, and raised a generation of Ruisodosan kids on Neal's sharp-tongue wit. Even after he moved on from the Cafe, he remained a mainstay and local legend in town, continuing to work from smoothie shop owner to bartender to ski shop clerk, and many more.
In his later years, a week or two at the family casita in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, eventually morphed into winters there, beginning as soon as the weather got too cold stateside. And just like that, another community enjoyed years of his strong character, wicked humor, and caring presence.
Just like his unmistakably deep, resonant voice, Neal's influence will continue to reverberate through our memories for many years to come.
Neal was predeceased by his brothers Andrew and David Germain, and his sister Amy Germain. He is survived by his nephew Daniel Germain, his sister Amy's only child, and his nieces and nephew Nicole, Alexis, and Schulyer Germain, his brother David's children, as well as a large community of friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Humane Society of Lincoln County in Ruidoso, NM, or the West End Racing Club in Provincetown, MA.
A memorial service will be held at 11am on November 6th at Wingfield Park in Ruidoso, NM.