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Neil Baerman, 83, passed away on October 23rd surrounded by family, after a brief bout with cancer. A resident of Gaylord for 20 years, Neil was a faithful member and council president of Peace Lutheran Church.
He will be remembered most for his dedication to his family…and the Green Bay Packers. His family has fond memories of fishing excursions, afternoons at the shooting range, breakfasts of his famous frittatas, and tournaments of the card game, Hand and Foot.
Packer game time was sacrosanct. And when the games weren’t televised locally, you could reliably find Neil, and his wife Carol, at a local sports bar wearing their Packer gear. Sometimes, with friends and family in tow.
Neil was a talented woodworker. His church, wife, and daughters treasure the furniture pieces he crafted by hand. He loved steam trains; he and Carol traveled the U.S. and worldwide to ride famous railways. He was also a model railroad collector and hobbyist. In addition, he served as president of his condominium association for the past 19 years.
Neil grew up in Wisconsin, and moved to Michigan in the 1970s with his career in the auto industry. He was a talented mechanical engineer and manager at American Motors and Chrysler. Dedicated to the Great Lakes region, he wouldn’t consider living anywhere else.
Neil is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carol; brother Roger (Sandi); children Laurie Rankin (Dirk), Beth (Jim Gell), and Christopher (Laurel); grandchildren Jessica Suomi (Matt), Valerie Gunter (Joshua), Mark Rankin (Bryn), Kathleen Dietrich (Brandon), Gwen Gell, Ethan Gell, Emma Gell, Molly Baerman, Abby Baerman, Jane Baerman, Nate Baerman, and Brooke Baerman; and great grandchildren Korver Suomi, Mila Suomi, Saige Suomi, and Ford Gunter. Neil was preceded in death by his son Scott (survived by Jill Pace) and his grandson Walter Gell.
An outdoor memorial service will be held next summer. Memorial gifts may be sent to Peace Lutheran Church, 3703 Old 27 South, Gaylord, MI 49735.
Arrangements are by Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at www.gaylordfuneralhome.com
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