Neil Lien, Evansville, WI (1925 - 2014)

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September 6, 2014

May 15, 1925 - September 4, 2014

Neil C. Lien, age 89, passed away Sept. 4, 2014. He was born in Tyler, MN, on May 15, 1925, the son of John and Mabel (Swenson) Lien. Neil was the youngest of three sisters and a brother who were raised on the family's farm until moving to Garvin, MN, during the Great Depression. Throughout his childhood, he worked closely with his father fixing machinery and erecting windmills. Neil was a private first class in the Army-Air Force during World War II, as a member of the 1st Depot Repair Squadron, working as a specialist in computing gun sight and power turret repair. After the war, he earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from South Dakota State University.

While on his way to Chicago, to interview for a job, he stopped in Evansville, WI, to visit Baker Manufacturing Co., the firm that produced the windmills he assembled in Minnesota. After the visit, Gordon Baker offered him a position as a design engineer, which included working on hydrofoil boats. He was part of the team that designed the Monitor for the U.S. Navy, at the time the world's fastest hydrofoil. In 1967, he joined the University of Wisconsin's Physical Sciences Lab scientific staff as a mechanical engineer, while still working on a project basis for Baker. He returned to Baker in 1974 as a member of the board of directors and served as vice president and director of research and development, designing and building monochromators and other scientific instrumentation until his retirement in 1990. He was a life member of the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers and was named “Outstand Professional Engineer in Industry” by the group in 1995. Neil has his name on 12 patents and published several scientific papers.

Faith was a very important part of his life. Neil was an active member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Evansville, and served as a member of the church council and other committees. He served on the board of directors for Skaalen Sunset Home and its foundation in Stoughton, WI, for 12 years, including two years as president. He also served on planning and economic development committees for the city of Evansville. He was an accomplished carpenter and woodworker, very interested in archeology and genealogy, and an active member of Sons of Norway.

Neil married Joann Veum, on Oct. 27, 1956 in East Koshkonong Lutheran Church in Cambridge, WI, and shared a loving marriage for almost 58 years. They have three daughters and sons-in-law: Susan (Patrick) Mills, Nancy (John) Korom and Karen (Robert) Miller. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Meghan, Amanda, Katelyn and Benjamin Mills; Nicholas, Maxwell (fiancé Erika Sleik) and Natalie Korom; and Grey and Theodore Miller.

The family would especially like to recognize the health care teams and blood donors whose contributions extended the length and quality of Neil's life.

Services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9, at ST. JOHN'S LUTHERAN CHURCH in Evansville, at 11 a.m. with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. with Military Rites following services provided by V.F.W. Post 6905, Evansville. Interment will follow at the East Koshkonong Cemetery in Cambridge, WI. Memorials may be given to St. John's Lutheran Church, the East Koshkonong Cemetery or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Condolences may be expressed at Wardhurtley.com


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