Genevieve Frances McNeil went peacefully to her heavenly home on July 4, 2021 in West Union, Iowa after blessing us earth side for over 96 years. Genevieve was born to Anna (Hill) and Austin Charles Nesbit on November 2, 1924. Born prematurely at just 3 lbs. 9 oz, Gen has always been a tiny but mighty fighter.
She graduated from De Sales high school at age 17, where she boarded with the Nuns in Ossian due to the long commute. After her first year at St. Teresa College, she met the love of her life Jack McNeil while working at the Postville REA office. He swept her off her feet and they danced their way through a four-year courtship to marry on November 11, 1947 at De Sales Catholic Church. They were blessed with nine children, and Gen had a true gift of letting each one know they were the ‘most special’. They farmed in the Gunder and Castalia area for over twenty years, and Gen’s tenacity and work ethic allowed them to open Valhalla Supper Club and Little John’s Lounge in Clermont. You could always find Gen giving orders and ensuring the place ran smoothly.
Genevieve was an avid reader and truly had a gift for the written word. She delighted her family with her “On the Road Again” letters and postcards during her travels delivered to homes across the country. Everyone either looked forward to or dreaded getting a “Grandma Letter”; depending on what you had done to deserve one. Her beautiful needlework created for her children and grandchildren are truly cherished masterpieces, and just a small token of the love she gave so freely. Her steadfast calmness, grace under pressure, and unwavering faith allowed her to give her fierce opinions and sometimes stinging advice because it was wrapped in a heart of gold.
She leaves behind a wonderful legacy and will be forever missed as the matriarch of her large family. She is survived by her children: Diane Stark, Michael McNeil (Ronna), Colleen Laas, Carol Miller (Paul), Mary Moritz (Neil), Teresa Steffens (Gary), John McNeil, Joe McNeil (Janell), 36 grandchildren, and 75 great grandchildren with 2 more arriving soon.
Preceded in death by her husband Jack; oldest son Edward; Parents; sister Ann Minger; Sons-in-law, Dennis Stark and James Laas
Visitation will be held at the Schutte-Grau Funeral Home in Clermont, Iowa on Friday evening, July 9, 2021 from 4 pm – 7 pm.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Ossian, Iowa at 10 am on Saturday, July 10, 2021. A Private Family Burial will be at St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery in Clermont, Iowa immediately following the funeral.
Reception following at the Clermont City Hall/Opera House in Clermont, Iowa to celebrate a wonderful life well-lived. (Written by Kelly Davy, Granddaughter)
Schutte-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Clermont, Iowa is assisting the family with arrangements.