Neustel, Kenneth C. “Ken”


Age 85, died on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in St. Paul, MN. He was born on Sept. 1, 1934, in Duluth, MN, to Clifford S. and Nora C. (Wick) Neustel. Ken was active in the Boy Scouts and earned his Eagle Scout badge in 1952, when he also graduated from Central High School in Duluth. Ken married Mary E. Siemer in 1959. Ken attended the U of M, Duluth, where he was a member of the Beta Phi Kappa fraternity and earned a degree in sociology in 1960. Ken worked for the State of MN Parole and Probation Dept. until he was hired as a social worker by the St. Paul School System where he retired in 1997. He also worked part time at Scott County Mental Health Services for 30 years. Ken honorably served with the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division where he was introduced to parachute jumping. His first sport jump was in Rochester in 1962. He was a lifetime member of the U.S. Parachute Assoc. and was a licensed parachute rigger and examiner, jumpmaster and skydiving instructor. He recorded over 5600 jumps and mentored many individuals in a 40-year commitment to the sport. In 1999, Ken and his wife, Mary, joined members of the International Association of Airborne Veterans with whom they parachute jumped in Mongolia, and again in Jordan in 2000, with Prince Hamzah to honor the life of his father, King Hussein. Because of his commitment to safety as a parachute rigger and skydiving instructor, Ken was inducted into the MN Aviation Hall of Fame in 2012. Ken and Mary were avid outdoors people and enjoyed canoeing the Boundary Waters and hiking Isle Royale. One memorable experience was hiking an Austrian mountain trail for a few days. Ken’s other interests included his numerous beloved pets, and active memberships in the West St. Paul Rotary Club and the Oakdale Gun Club. Ken is survived by his wife, Mary; brother, Wesley of Duluth; sister, Marian of Plainfield, IN; and numerous nieces and nephews throughout three generations. A memorial service and inurnment will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army or Feline Rescue, Inc. in St. Paul.


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