George Arthur Neitzel of Kendall, Wis., passed away peacefully Tuesday June 14, 2022 at Fairview Nursing Home in Mauston, Wis., at the age of 85 years, eight months.
George was born in Kendall, Wis., at home on Sept. 27, 1936, to Erwin and Irene (Sonnenberg) Neitzel. He was the second born of nine children growing up on the family farm in rural Kendall, later moving to New Lisbon. George attended New Lisbon High School, where he enjoyed playing football, graduating with the class of 1954. He married his high school sweetheart Sharron Benjamin on June 25, 1955, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kendall, Wis. They raised four children together. The sparks would fly, but George and Sharron survived 65 years of marriage together living in Kendall, Wis.
George was a man of strength and integrity and strong leader of his family, teaching them hard work, community service and dedication. George devoted his life to three things: fishing, family, and community. He enjoyed 55 summers of fishing trips to Lac des Mille Lacs, Canada. With Sharron by his side, he would meet up with his longest fishing buddy, Paul, guiding his family and friends on the lake, and if you were lucky, he’d take you to fish back in “The Boot,” his favorite fishing spot. Granted this always would include a stop at lunch island, a meal filled with the freshest catch and fishing stories new and old. When the grandchildren, or “rug rats,” as he would lovingly call them, were old enough, he would take one along every summer to learn the lake.
He watched over his community for decades, joining the Kendall Police Department & Ambulance Service, serving the community for 38 years. George also joined the Kendall Fire Department, serving them for 50 years. He enjoyed suppling the fish for the fire department’s fundraising fish fries. He served in many roles, including Kendall Fire Chief and Kendall Police Chief. George worked as a mechanic at Schroeder Motors in Kendall for many years before transitioning into body work at Gary’s Auto Body in Tomah, Wis., until retirement.
George also enjoyed playing cards with friends, riding motorcycle, snowmobiling, cutting wood and shooting the sh** with friends. He was a master at making little Joe’s for catching that trophy walleye, a lover of licorice, turtles, and a Korbel. As George would say, “Now quit your bitchin,’” it’s time to enjoy that awesome fishing hole in the sky.
He is survived by his daughters, Deborah Dopson-Kienast (Stanley) of Lawson, Mo., Teri Parrish (Gary) of Brodhead, Wis., and LeAnn Steinbrink (Randy aka “Hotdog”) of Wilton; his son, Jerry Neitzel (Kathy) of Fitchburg, Wis.; his grandchildren, Tina Parrish (Mark) of Beloit, Jennifer Dopson (David) of Tomah, Josh Parrish (Trisha) of Brodhead, Wis., Candace Steinbrink (Andy) of Tomah, Matthew Neitzel (Kelly) of Big Flats, Wis., Christopher Steinbrink (Morgan) of La Crosse, and Duane Neitzel of Iowa; his step-grandchildren, Tracy Kienast, Kristie Sibell and Shawn Kienast; his great-grandchildren, Gia Cladwell-Debuque, Damon and Evelyn Rose Parrish, Andrew, Logan, Annabelle, Haley Jane, Kylee, and Leroy Olson, and Matthew Jr., Landyn, Gracelynn, and Aubreighanna Neitzel; his grand-pups; 12 step-great-grandchildren; his siblings, Roger (Barbara) Neitzel of Melrose, Wis., Robert (Nancy) Neitzel of Gettysburg Penn., Barbara (Doug) Moskonas of Cataract, Wis., Rose of Tomah, Donald Neitzel of Tomah, Linda (Dick) Martin of Kendall, and David (Kathy) Neitzel of New Lisbon; and many nieces, nephews and extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharron; his parents; his brother, Erwin Neitzel Jr.; his brothers-in-law, Lee Benjamin and Harold (Vonnie) Benjamin; and baby Olson.
Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Friday, July 8, with service to follow at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kendall. Cards can be sent on behalf of the “Neitzel Family” and sent to Sonnenberg Funeral Home, P.O. Box 762, Tomah, WI 54660. Online condolences and service information can be found at www.sonnenburgfamilyfh.com.