Obit: Vater, Neil F. (1915 – 2014)

Contact: Helen Blaha


Surnames: Vater, Schoensigel, Peterson, Parkhill, Blaha, Olsen, Gaffke, O'Halloran

----Source: Helen Blaha Scrapbook

Vater, Neil F. (20 NOV 1915 – 10 AUG 2014)

Neil Frederick Vater, the youngest of six children of Robert William and Henrietta (Schoensiegel) Vater, was born November 20, 1915 in his parents’ home in the Town of Longwood, Clark County, Wisconsin. His parents, descendants of German immigrants who had settled in Wisconsin before the territory had become a state, had moved from Plymouth, Wisconsin to rural Withee in 1901. Neil died on August 10, 2014 at the age of 98 years at the Clark County Health Care Center in Owen, Wisconsin. A memorial service was held Saturday, September 6, at the United Church of Christ in Owen.

Neil attended both elementary and high school in Withee, graduating from the Withee High School in 1934. On May 31, 1941 he married Eileen Sue Peterson, daughter of Nels Gunnuf Peterson and Susan Ann (Parkhill) Peterson, at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Neil and Eileen first farmed with his parents, and then bought their own farm south of Owen in about 1945, where they lived for 67 years. As well as farming, Neil did electrical work in his community and served as township assessor for several years. He was an active member of the United Church of Christ of Owen and of the Central Wisconsin Antique Steam and Gas Engine Club. Neil enjoyed fishing, deer hunting, sawing lumber with his sons and grandchildren on his own sawmill, working iron on his forge, collecting antique hammers, playing cards with family and friends.

Neil and Eileen Vater had four sons, Neil Peter Vater, Vernon Jerome Vater, Jack Robert Vater, and Robert William Vater. Neil Peter died in 1980 and Robert in 1992. Neil is survived by his wife Eileen, sons Vernon of Morgan Hill, CA and Jack of Withee. He is also survived by daughters-in-law Helen (Robert) Vater Blaha of Loyal, and Barbara Vater of Middleton, grandchildren Edwin (Kay) Vater, Jack (Jenny) Vater, Susan (George) Vater Olsen, Ruth Vater (Jamie Gaffke), Katherine Vater, Ashley (Tim) O’Halloran, and Ben Vater. Neil and Eileen have seven great-grandchildren—Michael, Sarah, Eric, Robert, Charles, Henry, and Nola Mae Vater.

Neil F. Vater was predeceased by his parents Robert and Henrietta Vater and by his siblings and their spouses, Arno (Margaret) Vater, Carl (Anita) Vater, Ruth (Niles) Moody, Alice (Raymond) Jones, and Gladys (Norviel) Woodburn. He is also survived by three nephews and a niece and their families.



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