John “Jim” Neu, age 83, of Yankton, South Dakota, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family at his home on his birthday, November 24, 2020.
Mass of Christian Burial is 10:30 AM, on Monday, November 30, 2020, at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton with Reverend Tom Anderson officiating. After the funeral, military honors will be provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791 and SD Army National Guard Funeral Honors and Jim’s body will then be donated to the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Burial will take place at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Hartington, NE at a later date. Visitation is from 3:00 to 5:00 PM, on Sunday, November 29 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton with a rosary and vigil service at 4:00 PM. Face coverings and social distancing will be required for those attending the visitation and funeral. The funeral will also be live streamed at www.facebook.com/WintzRay and on Jim’s obituary page at www.wintzrayfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.
Pallbearers are all of his grandchildren. Honorary pallbearers are Darrell Kathol, Jerry Hoffart, Jerry Arens, Tony Dendinger, Bill Yates, Ron Nelson, Ed Soukup and Kenny Kast.
John James Neu was born November 24, 1937 in Harington, Nebraska to John and Alice (Ford) Neu. He grew up in Hartington and graduated from Holy Trinity High School in 1955. Jim then enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Aschaffenburg, Germany from 1956 to 1958. After his discharge, he attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and graduated in 1962 with a degree in food processing and business administration. On April 24, 1962, Jim married Judy Klaus in Emery, SD. After their marriage, they lived in Madison, WI where Jim studied cheese making. They moved back to Hartington in 1963 and Jim started Neu Cheese Company. He owned and operated the business for over 20 years, selling in 1986. While in business, Jim was honored with several awards, some of which were the Outstanding Service Award by the Hartington Chamber of Commerce in 1974 and the Nebraska Small Business Person of the Year in 1978. Jim served on the Hartington City Council from 1970 to 1982, was a trustee at Mount Marty College from 1983 to 1985, and also served on the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Board. Jim loved volunteering and being active in his community. He volunteered for Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Springfield Prison, and delivered Meals on Wheels. He was an EME and usher at St. Benedict Catholic Church. In his younger years, he was a Boy Scout Leader and was so proud when all five of his grandsons became Eagle Scouts and a granddaughter received the Girls Scout Gold Award. Jim loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing, local amateur baseball and watching his grandchildren’s sporting events. He enjoyed spending the winters in Arizona and loved to hike in the desert. He also loved playing cards and treasured the time spent with family.
Jim is survived by his wife, Judy Neu of Yankton; four children: Mike (Nicole) Neu of Waukesha, WI, Patty (Kevin) Zavadil of Crofton, NE, Paul Neu of Oldenburg, Germany, and John (Amy) Neu of Yankton; nine grandchildren: Claudia and Christian Neu, Cassy, Cody and Bryce Zavadil, Catherina Breitenfellner, John, Zach and Lily Neu; seven great grandchildren: Oaklee and Nealee Cwach, Easton, Nolan and Lennon Zavadil, Autumn Zavadil, Julian Breitenfellner; two sisters, Dorothy (Kenny) Kast of Dakota Dunes, SD and Marge Tramdachs of Omaha, NE; and many nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Marilyn Baier; and two brothers-in-law, Eddie Baier and Andy Tramdachs.