Estel Glen Neff

Estel Glen Neff, 90, of Nauvoo, Illinois, passed away at 8:10 AM Friday, December 28, 2018, at Unity Point-Keokuk.

Estel was born September 29, 1928, at home on the family farm in Hancock County, Illinois, the son of Glen Thornber and Gayle Edith Sherman Neff. He was united in marriage to Cecel Grace Atkinson on December 19, 1948, in Hamilton, Illinois. She survives.

Estel graduated from Carthage High School and then attended University of Illinois at Champagne for two years. He has lived in the Carthage, Keokuk, and Nauvoo area all his life except for a few years while farming in Kirksville, Missouri. Estel was always involved in and interested in agriculture. As a youth he raised livestock and received many honors in Future Farmers of America.

He farmed for a number of years in the Carthage and Kirksville areas. He then went to work for the Iowa-Missouri Company and became a farm manager and rural appraiser. He later established his own business, Neff Steel and Supply Co. and sold Behlen grain bins, dryers, and farm equipment. He was a part-owner of several area grain elevators and was a dealer of Kent Feeds. Being an avid student of area history and collecting books and information, he established a used book business in Hamilton, Illinois. He later moved that business to Nauvoo after he became very interested in Mormon history and joined the church. He owned that business until his death.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was always active in his community: serving as president of Keokuk Kiwanis Club, supporting Western Illinois Old Threshers, Ducks Unlimited, and other professional and special organizations. He had an extensive collection of guns, specializing in Colt and Winchester.

Estel is survived by his wife of 70 years, Cecel of Nauvoo; five daughters, Theresa (Dirk) DeJong of Keokuk, Sharon (Ben Marion) Neff of Ely, Iowa, Kathy Neff of rural Revere, Missouri, Martha (Tom Russell) Neff of Keokuk, and Mary Jo Riesberg of Keokuk; eleven grandchildren, Kathryn Scruggs, Sarah DeJong, Elizabeth Fuchsen, Laura DeJong, Jacob Russell, Lindy Russell, Abigail Webster, Jordan Webster, Louis Riesberg, Dayne Riesberg, and Jocelyn Riesberg, and six great-grandchildren, William, Chelsea, Abigail, Jacob, Katherine, and Alyssa. Also surviving is a brother-in-law, Leroy Scheetz and several nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.

Estel was preceded in death by his parents; sister and brother-in-law, Arlene and Virgil Couch, and sister, Wanda Scheetz.

All are welcome to a visitation and funeral service Wednesday, January 2, 2019, with visitation beginning at 11:00 AM and the service beginning at 12:00 noon at the Nauvoo Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 380 North Durphy Street. Burial will follow at Thornber Cemetery in rural Powellton, Illinois.

Visitation will also be after 2:00 PM Tuesday, January 1, 2019, at DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Center at 917 Blondeau Street, Keokuk, with family meeting friends from 4:00 to 6:00 at the funeral home. A short memorial presentation about Estel will be at 6:00 PM at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to Thornber Cemetery or to Western Illinois Old Threshers.