NORMAN JAMES NEUHALFEN, 86, Keenesburg, Colorado
After battling a few years of Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Norman passed away peacefully on Monday, September 2, 2019 in Fort Lupton, Colorado. He will be sadly missed by so many.
Norman was born July 12, 1933 in Coleridge, Nebraska, the son of Catherine I. and Henry P. Neuhalfen. He married Jeanette Bergman from Creighton, Nebraska on August 31, 1955. Over the next 13 years their family grew to 11 welcoming 9 children. In true Norm fashion with humor, if asked how many children they had, he would say, “we have 3 daughters…(pause)…….and they have 6 brothers”.
Norman is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jeanette Neuhalfen of Keenesburg, CO and his eight children Larie Bratcher (Terry) of Las Vegas, NV; Michelle Greenwald (Greg) of Westminster, CO; Teri Spinuzzi (Bill) of Broomfield, CO; Doug Neuhalfen of Arvada, CO; Jon Neuhalfen of Johnstown, CO; Dennis Neuhalfen (Kris) of Loveland, CO; Mike Neuhalfen of Limon, CO; and Jeff Neuhalfen (Ronnie) of Denver, CO. He is also survived by his brothers Carroll (Shirley) Neuhalfen of Hartington, NE and Gary Neuhalfen of Coleridge, NE, numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and cousins and many other relatives.
He was preceded in death, very recently, by his eldest son Kevin. He was also preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Duane and 3 brothers and 2 sisters who died in infancy, two nephews (Dwayne and Kyle), a granddaughter (Donia) and a great grandson (Benjamin) along with many other relatives. What a beautiful thought of their reunion in heaven!!
Norman grew up in the country in Coleridge, Nebraska with a love of the land and worked hard as a family farm boy. A very studious boy who took in the world around him always learning everything he could. He liked to read encyclopedias just to take it all in. That is likely what earned him the nickname “brains” in high school. That would eventually lead to a beautiful characteristic of his as he tried to get others to critically think, or come up with something witty that got you thinking.
He joined the Army in 1953 and served in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged not long after enlisting due to a back injury. While living in Keenesburg he was a member of the American Legion Post 180.
After getting married and starting a family in Colorado, Norman and Jeanette made moves to Nebraska and California and then returned to Colorado. Norman worked hard to support his family. His employment history included working at the South Dakota State Hospital, selling vacuum cleaners, doing benchman work for an optical company, and he worked at Seaboard Finance in Colorado, Nebraska and California. In Denver he helped start up the Women’s Bank and worked at various other banks in the Denver Metro area until retirement. After retiring he worked for First Transit (RTD) as a shuttle driver. He also sold cars at Formby Ford in Fort Lupton, Colorado.
Working as a loan officer in banking for so many years he watched customers in and out put themselves in deep debt and create nightmares for themselves. He didn’t want that for himself or for any of his children. It was his passion to teach about credit and help families create a future for themselves instead of deep debt.
In his free time on the weekends it was always flea markets, garage sales and farm sales. Collectibles and oddities were his focus along with antique cars and machinery. With the help of Joe, a neighbor, friend and fellow mechanic, he designed and built a three wheel motorcycle before they became popular and out on the market. The uniqueness of this design is that he modified a Volkswagon bug front end to be used as the front two wheel steering mechanism. He would then remove the front wheel of any motorcycle and attach the forks to the front end to make his unique design complete. He was able to interchange motorcycles easily to use any motorcycle he wanted. He was known to be cruising the streets of Keenesburg on his unique motorcycle while he carried out his neighborhood watch duties for the town.
Combining his love of finance, and a dream of flying a plane, he talked about training as a pilot even though he was a bank officer. He helped the director of a flight school with a loan to buy her first plane so she could open the school and in turn she taught him to fly. He worked hard to get his pilots license.
Over the years, he also had side businesses such as car lots and a small restaurant, The Dog House, in West Arvada selling Wimmer’s hotdogs, which he grew up on and loved, and wanted to share their unique taste with the Arvada community.
Faith was always important to Norman and he always set examples for his family and friends by attending daily mass and making Sunday a priority for the Lord. That same faith carried him through some of the roughest times of his life. In the end, that was the beauty as Father Peter Dinh gave him his last rites.
A poem very fitting of a deserving man:
He never looked for praises
He was never one to boast
He just went on quietly working
For the ones that he loved most
His dreams were seldom spoken
His wants were very few
And most of the time his worries
Went unspoken too
He was there a firm foundation
Through all the storms of our life
A sturdy hand to hold on to
In times of stress and strife
A true friend we could turn to
In times of good or bad
The blessing that was in our lives
Was the man that we called Dad
We miss you!!
Norman will be greatly missed by the caregivers and staff at Ashley Manor Memory Care in Fort Lupton, Colorado. Although he lived there only briefly, it is where he lived out his final days and the staff compassionately took care of him in those final days. The staff members were in awe of him playing tunes on his harmonica as well as hearing some stories about his life and his family.
Norman’s life was celebrated on Friday, September 6, 2019 in conjunction with the Memorial Mass at St. Joseph Parish in Golden which was already planned for his recently deceased son Kevin. Reverend Joseph Tran officiated the Mass. A reception followed and then a very touching procession of vehicles moved from the Church to Fort Logan National Cemetery where military honors took place at the burial ceremony. He is now laid to rest with his son Kevin.
On Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 10:00am a memorial mass will be held for Norman at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Roggen, CO. A reception will follow at the American Legion Post 180 in Keenesburg, CO.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the following:
Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado
American Legion Post 180 in Keenesburg, CO
Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center in Divide, CO
Holy Family Catholic Church in Keenesburg, CO
A special thanks to the amazing staff at Aspen Mortuary in Arvada, CO for pulling things together on such short notice.