Obit: Vater, Neil P. (1942 - 1980)
Contact: Janet Rogalski
Surnames: Vater, Eloranta
----Source: Janet Rogalski Scrapbook
Vater, Neil P. (24 FEB 1942 - 6 NOV 1980)
Former Owen (Clark Co., Wis.) resident, Neil Vater, 38, died late Sunday afternoon after a hunting accident near his home at Rt. 1, Loyal. He died of a shotgun blast to the right side of the chest. The accident occurred while he was hunting with his son, Edwin, 13, on their land about one-fourth mile from the house.
Edwin told Clark County authorities that he and his father had been hunting about 50 to 75 feet apart in a brushy area. The boy heard a shot and at first thought that his father had gotten a bird or animal. He waited a few minutes and then investigated, finding his father lying on his back. It appeared that Vater may have tripped over a log, causing the gun to go discharge. Authorities said the shot was a a very close range and the death was almost instantaneous.
A memorial service for Mr. Vater will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the First Congregational Church of Christ at Owen. The Rev. Meg Shepherd and Kurt Sampson will officiated. The body will be cremated.
Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Maurina Funeral Home, Owen. At 11 a.m. Thursday a memorial services will be held at the Loyal High School gym for Mr. Vater, who was the Industrial Arts teacher there.
Mr. Vater graduated in 1960 from Owen-Withee High School and attended Wausau Technical School for two years and then the University of Wis., Platteville, where he received his B.S. He was employed as a tool designer for John Deere Co. at Dubuque, Iowa and was industrial arts instructor at Loyal High School since 1969. He was also the 4-H club leader for the Beaver Center 4-H Club.
Born Feb. 24, 1942, Mr. Vater married Helen Eloranta on July 31, 1965 at the Nazareth Lutheran Church. He is survived by his wife, three children still at home, Edwin, Jack and Susan; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Neil F. Vater of Owen; and three brothers, Vernon of Morgan Hill, Calif.; Jack of Mountain View, Calif.; and Robert of Madison, Wis. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Julie.
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