Dewey Arnold McNeil was born at home in Shovel Lake to Roger and Dolly (Edna) McNeil on June 29, 1942. He was raised on the farm in Shovel Lake enjoying country living, the love of his family, adventures with his siblings, and shenanigans with the neighborhood boys.
He attended Hill City School and the Itasca Agriculture School where he completed his 11th and 12th year as a captain and star football player. On July 29, 1961, he married Mary Lou Roskos and started their family by welcoming their two children, Cre and Craig, into the world. Dewey enjoyed a life of operating heavy equipment, owning his own businesses, fishing on the docks of Casper’s Resort, camping at Taylor Lake with his kids, winters in Florida, family gatherings, and spending a lifetime laughing and enjoying lasting friendships.
His true joy in life was his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was a dedicated grandpa who was involved in every part of their lives. When there was a personal crisis, problem on the farm, trouble with a girl, trouble with a boy, car that broke down, math problem that stumped us, engine that wouldn’t start, driveway that needed dragging, grandkid that needed a ride, or hug that needed to be had…..we called Papa! He prided himself in teaching his children to be hard workers, invested parents and to understand the importance of family. The core of his personality was that of kindness, generosity and being helpful to others. He loved helping friends in need and cherished those friendships. He was patient beyond words and taught his children and grandchildren life lessons by using his mistakes as examples. He opened his heart and home to many adults and kids over the years and treated them like they were his own. Having a home full of love and laughter was important to him. He was a prankster that loved electricity……. We all got a little jolt of love at some time over the years. If he really loved you…. you received many. He enjoyed his many friends (second family) on Emily Lane in Ft. Myers Beach, many memories with his best friend, Tom Vestal and his old grey Dodge, and years spent at the family hunting camp. Each of the relationships he developed over his lifetime remained cherished treasures for him.
The past three years brought challenges with Alzheimer’s, heart issues and strokes, but he again set an example for us on how to face these struggles with acceptance, patience and being able to find humor in it.
Dewey was greeted in Heaven by his grandparents, Ralph and Mabel McNeil; parents, Roger and Dolly McNeil; brother, Kenny McNeil; and nephew, Mark Holm.
Those on earth still holding memories are his daughter, LaCretia “Cre” Larson; son, Craig (Melaine) McNeil; grandchildren: Danielle Larson, Dakota (Grace) Larson, Dalton Larson, Hannah (Darin) Lundquist, Caleb McNeil, Cameron McNeil; three great-grandchildren, Dawson Estey, Salem Larson, Colson Estey; aunt, Elsie Riehle, siblings: Delores (Melvin) Holm, Kathy Neary, Lonnie (Eve) McNeil; sister-in-law, Charity McNeil; brother-in-law, William Neary; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cherished family members.
A family graveside service and celebration of life gathering will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are with Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids, Minn. To sign the online guestbook or send condolences visit www.rowefuneralhomeandcrematory.com.