Neal Tusler, age 83, of Isanti died July 3, 2012 at the Veterans Hospital in St. Cloud. Funeral services will be held at 11 A.M.on Monday, July 9, 2012 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in East Bethel with a visitation 1 hour before the service at the church. There will also be a visitation from 4 – 8 P.M. on Sunday, July 8th at our Isanti Chapel.
Neal was born in St. Paul, MN on January 10, 1929 during a blizzard to Dorothe Boyd alone (his father Frederick Boyd had passed away two month before his birth). He was raised in and around Minneapolis and graduated from Washburn High School in 1947. He attended the University of Minnesota and Dunwoody Trade School. In 1950 Neal joined the Air Force where his primary responsibility was building atomic bombs in Rapid City, S.D. which was top secret back then.
With Neal’s first marriage he had five children, LeeAnn, Lon, Gregg, Brad & Lindsay. In 1968 Neal married Janelle Rasmussen and had two daughters, Melissa & Magdelyn (Maggie) residing in East Bethel, MN most of their married life. In 2001 Neal & Jan moved to the lake outside of Isanti where he loved watching the Bald Eagles fish and nest in the tree near the house.
Neal worked for IBM for about six years and then he and two other guys started their own Business Machine Services company. In 1970 he purchased Frontier Town (a western theme park with several wild and domestic animals) and ran that until the economy forced him to close the business. After the Frontier Town experience he worked on his own selling and repairing vehicles and built his own storage business.
Neal loved building and fixing things. He bought his first car when he was 15 most of the parts came in a bushel basket (so he said) and he put it together and sold it. He converted a Greyhound bus to the family motorhome in the 1980s. The family enjoyed many long vacations and camping weekends with friends and family. He incorporated his love for antiques into the motorhome with a huge stained glass window, old brass theatre lights, and old wood collected over the years. He especially loved his antique cars driving them to many car shows and driving his daughters through many parades. During his retirement years at the lake he became extremely interested in Model Trains for which he visited many museums around the state. He even learned how to shop on E-bay for antique trains, purchasing several old engines and train cars from the 1920s. And thanks to his sons-in-law, Greg and Russ, had them running completely around the top of the living and dining rooms of the lake home.
Neal had a love for animals. He was frequently nursing something back to health, either while running the amusement park or owning cats and dogs later. His last Buddy was Chester, the weiner dog, who came to live with him on his 81st birthday. Chester was a great friend and protector of Grandpa Neal.
Neal had a clever sense of humor. He was forever playing innocent practical jokes on everyone he knew and of course was very good at receiving what came back to him.
He also enjoyed watching his grandkids participate in performing arts such as dance, band and piano recitals, and in sports such as football, soccer, baseball and diving. He took great pride in watching them all.
Neal F. Tusler passed away Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at the VA Nursing Home in St. Cloud, MN at the age of 83 years, 5 months and 23 days.
He was preceded in death by his parents Frederick Boyd, Dorothe (Boyd) Tusler & Frank Tusler, half-sister Marjorie Curry, children Brad Tusler & Maggie Tusler.
Survived by his loving wife of 44 years Janelle (Jan) Tusler, children LeeAnn (Greg) Burtman, Lon (Lorry) Tusler, Gregg Tusler, Lindsay (Dave) Nordberg, Melissa (Russell) Hemmelgarn, grandchildren Bethany (Jason) Huebscher, Shana, Christopher & Kyle Burtman, Terra & Rachel (John Santor) Tusler, Tyler & Alyssa Nordberg, Austin, Cody & Sierra Hemmelgarn & great-grandchildren Grant, William & Emily Huebscher, sister Carol Chance and many more relatives and friends. Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa, Brother, and Uncle you will be deeply missed by many.
WE LOVE YOU! -RIP-
Memorials to Mille Lacs County Historical Society – Princeton Depot Museum, Princeton, MN or Can Do Canines, New Hope, MN.