Gary Neitzel was a proud stockholder of the Green Bay Packers organization
Gary William Neitzel, 68, cherished his time being able to lead confirmation classes for kids at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Roscoe, IL. Later in life, Gary was an active member of Redeemer Rockford Church, where he continued his work with youth at Redeemer’s Sunday school. At Redeemer, he had a tight-knit life group where he made some of his closest friends with whom he shared many joys in life together. He experienced great fulfillment from the men’s Bible study. Anyone who knew Gary knew that his faith in God was the cornerstone of his life.
Gary passed away on Sunday, April 23, 2023 after a courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
Gary was born in Oconomowoc, WI to Elroy and Margaret Neitzel. He was raised in Ashippun, WI, where his first job was in the family’s grocery store. Neitzel’s Grocery was a typical ‘mom and pop’ grocery store and here he developed his strong work ethic and commitment to family. Gary graduated from Oconomowoc High School in 1973. He worked as a brick mason until he joined the US Army in 1976. He graduated from Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Aurora, CO with a degree in biomedical electronics. He was then assigned to the 130th Station Hospital in Heidelberg, West Germany where he continued training until 1979. He worked for ADAC Laboratories for a few years, which brought him back to Wisconsin, where he eventually began his 34 year career with Siemens Medical Solutions as a biomedical equipment technician. He retired in 2020.
Gary was a proud stockholder of the Green Bay Packers organization and enjoyed hosting friends and family at his home during Packer football games. He will be remembered for his infamous third down stance and touchdown celebrations including polka dancing and belly bumping. Gary appreciated any tasks, both large and small, that he could do for his friends and family. There are too many to list, as he loved and served so many people.
He married Marianne Dooley in 1987 and together they raised three children who brought him much joy and love: Emily (Patrick) McIntyre of Rockford, IL, Aaron Neitzel (Alex Jones) of Springfield, MO and Lauren (Ryan) Morton of Germantown Hills who provided him with his first grandson, Chase Morton. He is also survived by his brothers, Tom Neitzel and John Neitzel. He was predeceased by his parents, Elroy and Margaret Neitzel, and sister, Karen Neitzel.
The children would like to thank his brother Tom for accompanying Gary on numerous trips, most memorably his last trip to visit his out-of-town children and his brother John for one last time. They would also like to thank his oncologist, Dr. Aric Hall, from the University of Madison, for his wonderful care and treatment of Gary’s cancer and for his wisdom and guidance throughout his illness.
Although Gary was only able to enjoy a few years of retirement, he enjoyed spending time traveling, cycling, hiking, and kayaking where he could enjoy the beauties of nature. He especially had a passion for ballroom dancing and is even being laid to rest in his nicest dancing shoes.
Funeral service and visitation were held on Thursday, May 4, 2023 in Redeemer Rockford Church. Graveside service with military honors was held Friday, May 5, in Pilgrims Rest Cemetery in Watertown, WI.
Memorials can be made to the family or to the Rockford Rescue Mission, an organization which Gary supported throughout his adult life.