Donald E. Neubauer, ‘The Leader of our band was tired and his eyes were growing dim’
Don passed away Monday October 11th, 2021, of natural causes, though not in the manner he wished for, which would have been out in the boat fishing.
He was born in Watertown on June 30, 1927 to Emma and Carl Neubauer, the eighth of nine children. Raised during the Great Depression, Don had a great work ethic, an appreciation for the value of life and sharing his bounty with others. He graduated from Watertown High School and enlisted in the US Navy in 1945 ..following his three older brothers into WW II. He worked for the Wisconsin Natural Gas Company and retired on his 60th birthday.
In his youth, he could make a little money catching carp in the Rock River and selling them from his wagon up and down the streets of Watertown. That was the beginning of his lifelong passion for anything related to fishing, from creating his own flies, to casting, and just being on or in the water. He introduced all his kids to fishing by carrying them out to a safe rock on the river, baiting the hook and teaching the mechanics of casting. Don was more comfortable out of doors than inside; he never lost his interest in and love of the natural world. He could grow anything, repair anything, catch anything he put his mind to. Had a question? Ask Dad. He was our Google.
Don met his future wife, Rosemary Collins, at Watertown High School and they married after his war service. They just celebrated their 73rd Anniversary. He and Rosemary raised a half dozen very lucky children: Kristine (Jim) Frater, Madison, WI, Sharon (James) Hoagland, Nova Scotia, Duffy (Brenda), Starkville MS, Steve (Brenda), Jefferson, WI, Laurie (Kevin Glunn) Madison, WI, Austen (Anne) Safety Harbor, Fl. He is also survived by Grandchildren: Tony, Ben, Kevin, Wendie, Breton, Abbie, Chelsea and Ellie. And Great grandchildren: Maya, Cassidy, Madeline, Max, Hunter, Owen, Winnie, Olivia, Betsy, Nora.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and eight siblings: Anita, Clarence, Lucille, Florence, Mildred, Floyd, Marvin, and Jack.
Although his growing family spread out from Oregon to Nova Scotia Canada, they gathered every Summer to celebrate being together as a family, usually on his birthday. The most important things he passed along to his children are to appreciate your family and the value of a good days work. He was the strongest man anyone knew, he built a 20ft. swingset out of iron pipes. He was a gentle and attentive father and we thank him for leading by example, for his patience and loving us unconditionally in spite of how challenging that was at times. “We are a living legacy to the leader of our band” (paraphrasing Dan Fogelberg)
When the time came, Dad walked into his death with the same grace and strength with which he lived his life.
Our thanks and gratitude to the dedicated team at Rainbow hospice for their support and kindness. Thanks also to the staff at River View assisted living in Watertown for making him feel at home.
Honoring our Dad’s wishes, we will have a private memorial service.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald E. Neubauer, please visit our floral store.