April 21, 2024

Howard Henry Neitzel

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Howard Henry Neitzel was born on June 13, 1936, to Henry and Olive (Yell) Neitzel and grew up on a family farm in Stevens County (MN), a mile away from his future wife. He attended District 38 school and graduated from Hoffman High School where he was a captain of the football team, ran track, played the trombone, and worked on the high school yearbook.  

He was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church, a country church near Swan Lake. Growing up, he had the distinction of perfect attendance throughout his years of religious instruction. Howard enjoyed singing throughout his life, whether in the Orpheum Chorus in his younger years, as a soloist at various events, or singing joyfully at church.    

Howard was a graduate of Moler Barber College and a barber for fifty years, first for a few years at shops in Fergus Falls, Parkers Prairie, and Moorhead, before becoming the owner of the Finest Barber Service in Moorhead. Howard had a sterling reputation as a precise barber and a good listener. He had many, many loyal customers and the shiniest floors around.  

On August 21, 1954, Howard married Harriet Gayle Henjum, his high school sweetheart, at Lands Lutheran Church in Hoffman. Together they had three children, Chuck, Gwen, and Sandee. Howard and Harriet had a strong and tender partnership and enjoyed the rhythm of everyday life, the joy of traveling together to visit family near and far, the bounty of an enormous garden, and the fun of gathering lakeside with friends and family in the summer months. Howard was an avid sports fan, enjoying all sports but having a particularly strong attachment to the Vikings and Twins, and more recently the Loons.  He was a skilled carpenter, an accomplished hunter and fisherman, and an excellent card player. Following his retirement, Howard became a voracious reader across all genres, consuming a couple of books per week and happily talking to family about what he was reading.  

Howard suffered a stroke on July 21, 2022, and was lovingly tended by his wife and the excellent caregivers at Bethany on University in Fargo. He passed away on Sunday, February 25, 2024, at Bethany, at 87 years of age.   

Howard is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Harriet; children, Gwen (John) White, and Sandee (Jon) Joppa; four grandchildren, Kari (Michael) Nunez, Kaela (Kyle) Noakes, Ben Joppa, and Bryan (Emily) Joppa; and two great grandchildren, Brody Noakes and Cali Noakes.  

Howard was preceded in death by his son, Chuck Neitzel; parents, Henry and Olive Neitzel; and parents-in-law Eddie and Irene Henjum. 

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at the Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Moorhead, with lunch to follow. Visitation will be held prior to the service, starting at 10 a.m. A private interment will be held at a later date.   

Arrangements by Korsmo Funeral and Cremation Service, Moorhead, MN.

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