Neil J. Kane, Jr., of La Crosse passed away peacefully on August 7, 2014 at Gundersen Health System, La Crosse.
Neil was born on December 5, 1924 in Prairie du Chien, Wis. to Neil and Pearl (Canty) Kane. He was the oldest of 5 children and grew up in Seneca, Wis. He graduated in 1942 from Seneca High School, where he was a member of the boxing team.
Neil enlisted in the Navy in July 1944 during World War II. He watched from the deck of his ship, the USS Patroclus (ARL-19), as the Peace Treaty was signed on the USS Missouri.
He married Mary A. Luster in 1947 and farmed in Seneca before moving to La Crosse in 1952. He worked as a structural steel ironworker for the Ironworkers Local # 383. Neil built power plants, bridges, commercial buildings, dams, and missile silos throughout the Midwest, Colorado, and Greenland. His later years were primarily as an ironworker raising gang foreman or superintendent for numerous electric power plants. In 1986, he retired as ironworker superintendant after completion of the structural steel on the Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Neil was an excellent walleye fisherman and deer hunter throughout his working and retirement years. He was a 62 year member of the St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral. He was a past Commander of the American Legion Post 417, French Island. Neil and Mary enjoyed their winters for 20 years in Mesa, Arizona. He was a lifelong Packer, Brewers and Badgers fan.
Neil is survived by his children Michael of Monona, Wis. and Mary Catharine (Mark) Hartman of Mendota Heights, Minn.; sisters Jeanne Stuckey, Rita (Dick) Dieter, Betty Ann (John) Oâ€™Donnell and Mary Ellyn (Brian) Oetzel; sisters-in-law Madonna (Jim) Rouiller, Helen (Dick) Hanesworth, Charlotte (Glenn) Monroe, Connie Luster, and Virginia Luster; brothers-in-law Ernest (Alice) Luster, Clarence (Kay) Luster, John (Joyce) Luster and Charles Luster; along with many nieces and nephews; 8 godchildren; and friends.
Neil was preceded in death by his wife Mary in 2012. He was also preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law John and Luella (Schellsmidt) Luster; sisters-in-law Myrtle Spinner and Rita (McFarland) Luster; brothers-in-law Harland Luster, James Luster, Donnie Rissman, Don Spinner and Al Stuckey; niece Karen Luster; and nephews Tom Luster and Chris Luster.
The family would like to express their special gratitude to Margaret and Bob Suhr. Also, the family thanks the staff at Gundersen Health System, Bethany St. Joseph Care Center, and the Gundersen Health System â€“ Onalaska Dialysis team. Finally, the family appreciates all who helped them during Neilâ€™s later years.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 AM Monday, August 11, 2014, in St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, 530 Main St., La Crosse, Wis. Msgr. Charles Stoetzel will officiate with entombment to be in St Joseph Mausoleum in the Catholic Cemetery. Family and friends may call on Sunday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Avenue South, La Crosse, Wis. with a Rosary to be held at 7:30 PM. Family and friends may also call from 9:00 AM until the time of Mass in the Cathedral on Monday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, Viterbo University, or Mobile Meals of La Crosse, Inc.