Brian Dennis “Denny” Neill, 83, died peacefully in Wausau, WI, on Thursday, July 1, 2021 with his beloved wife at his side, at Benedictine Living Center while under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.
Denny was born August 22, 1937, in Minneapolis, MN, to Andrew Christopher and Helen (Nordberg) Neill. He married Carolyn “Carol” Elaine Ericson at First Christian Church in Minneapolis on February 20, 1960, three years after meeting on a blind date.
After graduating from Patrick Henry High School in 1955, Denny earned an Associate’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Following a brief stint running Neill’s Custom Draperies, he signed on as a dispatcher with Univac in Roseville, MN, in 1961. His dedication and hard work were recognized with promotions. The family relocated to Iowa in 1979 after he became Production Manager at the new Sperry Univac plant in Clear Lake; six years later they moved to Jackson, MN, when he became Plant Manager there. Two additional moves ensued before he retired from Unisys after 34 years of employment.
Denny enjoyed nothing more than being at “the lake.” Despite spending every other weekend at the family cabin on Lake Roosevelt, regardless the season, his idea of vacation was traveling 200
miles farther north to fish near the Minnesota-Canada border. He also enjoyed hunting with his brother Terry and their buddies, games of bocce and volleyball, and working with lake neighbors on projects that too often resulted in tools lost at the bottom of the lake. He was fond of his golden retrievers. Denny never tired of pulling waterskiers or taking weekenders from the Twin Cities on leisurely boat rides, and he offered every kid the thrill of putting their hands on the wheel to “drive.” In winter, he spent countless hours ice fishing, alternately soaking in the quiet beauty and yucking it up with other die-hards in thick jackets and Sorel boots.
Upon retirement, Denny and Carol rebuilt the lake house to accommodate year-round living. They joined the Log Church in Crosslake where he was as an elder and served two terms as church chairman. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt and Lawrence Area Lake Association (RALALA).
Denny was a devoted husband and father and a proud grandfather and great grandfather. He will be remembered for his stern glances, playful smiles, and big heart. He was man of simple pleasures: watching sports, Westerns on tv, and good food—always with dessert. He discovered his legendary passion for ice cream during high school while working as a soda jerk at Glen’s Rexall Pharmacy. His family encourages others to honor his memory by eating ice cream often with loved ones.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Carol Neill of Wausau; his children, Michael (Cheryl) Neill of Wausau and Susan Neill (Mark Turcotte) of Chicago, IL; his grandchildren, Ryan (Hannah) Neill of Wausau, Kyle (Kristina) Neill of Plover, Emily Neill of Wausau, and Tyler Neill of Wausau; and his great grandchildren, Connor, Wesley, Anders, and Ole; his only sibling, Terry (Kathy) Neill of Clear Lake, MN; his nephew, Mark (Sara) Neill of Fort Atkinson, WI, and his niece, Shannon Woolhouse of Becker, MN. Denny was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and many aunts and uncles.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, July 9 at 11:00 am at Highland Community Church in Wausau with Pastor Isaiah Demoss officiating and Pastor Ryan Bare assisting. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 9 from 10:00 am until the time of services. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com. Memorials to the charity of your choice, the Log Church in Crosslake, or Highland Community Church in Wausau.
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