Wilfred "Icky" Neuenschwander, Fargo, formerly of Fessenden, passed away at his home in Fargo on Jan. 8, 2013, just short of his 93rd birthday. His funeral service will be held Monday, Jan. 21, at 11 a.m. at the Frank Proisl American Legion Hall in Fessenden, with interment at the Hillside Cemetery in Fessenden.
Icky was born in Fessenden on Jan. 20, 1920, to Otto and Lillian (Haugen) Neuenschwander, and lived most of his life in his beloved hometown. Like his six siblings, Icky was a gifted athlete, playing on several state championship teams while attending Fessenden High School. After completing high school, he graduated from St. Louis College of Mortuary Science in 1941. He and his brother Roger took over the family mortuary business in 1942 and later established a Gamble Store in downtown Fessenden.
Icky served during World War II as a Naval Medic, receiving his honorable discharge in 1945.
He married Claire Matthaei on Feb. 14, 1946. They raised three sons and one daughter in Fessenden, and both were very involved in school and community projects throughout this period, the local efforts that made Fessenden such a special place.
Icky retired in 1978, and spent a few years traveling before moving to Bloomington, Minn., to live with his youngest son, Bill. He eventually returned to Fessenden to golf, to enjoy and tease his many friends to be exactly who he was in full, living color. He always had an amazing sense of humor and could lighten the gravity of any situation. Icky was a nonjudgmental, gregarious person, someone people wanted to be around. He golfed and traveled into his late 80s, sharing great memories with his children and grandchildren, spreading his pragmatic humor and can-do resilience. He had a natural ability to handle animals, and his lifetime dog companions were always well trained and full of character. Icky, his golf cart, and "Boomer" were longtime fixtures of downtown Fessenden.
Icky is survived by: his sister, Bertha Johnson, of Mesa, Ariz.; his three sons: Wes (Gail Larson) Neuenschwander, of Seattle, Wash., John Neuenschwander, of Fargo, and Bill (Tracy Adams) Neuenschwander, of Bloomington, Minn.; daughter, Laurie (John) O'Connor, of Hines, Ore.; 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Arthur, Roger, Duane, Norman, and Lois (Niemeyer).
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the W.A. Neuenschwander Memorial Fund, c/o Nelson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 36, Fessenden, ND 58438.