Neil Owen Hoy, 83, of North Aurora, formerly of Addison, Ill., and Fridley, Minn., passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at Countryside Care Center, where he had recently made his home.
He was born on Aug. 13, 1929, in Chicago, the son of Christen and Clara (Knutson) Hoy.
When he was 4 years old, Neil’s family moved to Minneapolis, where he attended local schools. Neil graduated from Washburn High School, where he was a three-sport athlete, playing basketball, baseball and football. He graduated with the class of 1947.
Neil furthered his education at a local teachers college for a time before attending Minneapolis Business College, where he studied accounting. He graduated in December 1949 and found work at International Harvester. He was doing more than just studying accounting, however, as he studied a certain girl, as well. LaVerne Huar caught his eye at a local mixer, and after sharing the dance floor, where he showed off his best moves, they got to know each other better. Neil passed this initial test with flying colors and won the right to see her again. Their courtship lasted several years before Neil served his country in the United States Navy.
Neil was stationed in Washington, D.C., for a time before being stationed on the U.S.S. Midway. By then, Neil won LaVerne’s heart and also her hand in marriage. Their two hearts became one while Neil was on leave, tying the knot on Aug. 16, 1952, at St. Anne Catholic Church in Minneapolis.
Neil had to return Washington, D.C., with LaVerne in tow, making their home on Minnesota Avenue, where they welcomed a daughter, Deborah Ann. After moving back to Minneapolis and returning to civilian life, Neil continued to work for International Harvester.
The family moved to Fridley on Oct. 18, 1955, and the following spring they were blessed with their first son, Michael Neil. In 1958, Theodore Arthur was born, with Annette Marie to follow two years later. In 1962, Mary Clare was born. Charles Andrew made the family complete in 1964.
In August of 1970, the family moved to Addison, Ill., when Neil accepted a transfer to International Harvester offices located in Melrose Park, Ill. Neil retired in 1984, but it didn’t stick, as he went back to work 18 short months later at Idealease in Chicago until his “final” retirement came in 1988. Neil and LaVerne made 42 years of memories in Addison before moving once more to North Aurora in August of 2012.
Neil was a member of the Addison Community Switchboard, an organization that helps those less fortunate residents of Addison. He was also treasurer for St. Vincent DePaul and was a member of St. Phillip The Apostle Catholic Church, where he was also sang in the choir. Many other organizations benefited from his heart and his time, including delivering Christmas holiday meals and bringing communion to the sick. He worked the Christmas Telethon and many more.
He walked with God and had a contemplative soul. “Silence is Golden” was written in his high school yearbook, but it was more than that. Neil was a quiet thinker, thoughtful; was dedicated and caring. Like many of his generation, Neil was a saver, not a spender, but was always generous with his fellow man. His needs were simple and he never needed to keep up with the latest trends.
He loved to collect foreign stamps and was an avid fisherman. Neil liked to golf weekly for a time, hitting the links with various friends and family. Neil was fond of tennis, as well, and made many memorable rides on his tandem bike. He not only liked to play sports, but he also loved to watch them, too, tuning into college sports, especially football.
When it came to cards, Neil was a shark. He played any game, any time, but was especially adept at cribbage and bridge. Over the years, he took many family road trips to most of the 50 states, showing his children the world around them, singing his favorite tunes with every mile (whether his children wanted him to or not). Neil traveled with LaVerne internationally, as well, touching down in Ireland, Denmark and Hawaii. No matter where they traveled, foreign or domestic, Neil was a connoisseur of food, especially when he embraced his heritage by making his own pickled herring.
Neil was proud of his family and was a constant presence at his children’s, and later his grandchildren’s, sporting and special events. The space he left behind in the hearts and lives of his family and friends will never be filled nor forgotten.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, LaVerne Hoy; six children, Deb (Ken) Neahring of Somonauk, Ill., Mike (Rita) Hoy of Crystal Lake, Ill., Ted (Mary) Hoy of Redding, Calif., Annette (Dick) Theobald of Kaneville, Mary (Dave) Wisniewski of Pella, Iowa, and Chuck (Lisa) Hoy of Wheaton, Ill.; 16 grandchildren, Jeff (Marti) Neahring and their daughters, Kelsie and Katie, of Yorkville, Michelle (Tim) Yocum of Fox River Grove, Ill., Katherine (Erich) Hess and their son, Hayden, of Yorkville, Liz Neahring of San Diego, Kristina Neahring of Schaumburg, Ill., Natalie (Matthew Candir) Hoy of Schaumburg, Savannah, Riley and Dugan Hoy, all of Redding, Calif., Hannah and Vanessa Theobald of Kaneville, Tricia and Klaire Wisniewski, both Pella, C. J. Hoy of Hoffman Estates, and Steven Christophersen and Michael Sacco of Wheaton; one brother, Chris (Karen) Hoy of New Hope, Minn.; many nieces, nephews, and a family of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial visitation will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A memorial Mass celebrate to his faith will follow visitation at St. Gall Catholic Church, Elburn, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Fr. Tim Seigel, pastor of the church, will officiate, and interment will follow at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, Ill.
In lieu of flowers, you can donate directly to a charity of your choice or contribute to a memorial that has been established in Neil’s name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks to the “Neil Hoy Memorial” can be made to the “Neil Hoy Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com, where you can also find his full life story.