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Eugene “Gene” Nei

Posted By Ballard Sunder Funeral Home On March 31, 2022 @ 9:40 am In 2022,Obituaries,Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Gene Web Photo

Eugene “Gene” Nei, age 88 of Prior Lake, passed away peacefully on March 19, 2022. Gene was a loving husband, father, grandfather, coach, educator and dog trainer. He enjoyed playing the banjo and harmonica and was an avid woodcarver.

Janice (Jan) and Eugene (Gene) Nei were longtime residents of Prior Lake, and longtime parishioners of both St. Michael Catholic Church and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Jan, 87, passed away on December 16th, 2021, and Gene (Geno), 88, passed on March 19th, 2022. 

A Celebration of Life will be held at Lake Front Park Pavilion, 5000 Kop Parkway, Prior Lake, MN 55372, on June 21st, 2022 from 3-7 pm.  Father Jim Cassidy, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, will preside over prayers at 6:00 pm. There will be a private burial for Jan and Gene at the Credit River Cemetery. 

Jan was born on August 17th, 1934, and Gene on October 31st,1933.  They were married on September 24th, 1955 and raised 5 children in the Prior Lake community: Pat, Lauri (Mark), Barb (Greg), Paul (Lisa) and Julie (Mike). They were blessed with eight loving grandchildren, and eight wonderful great-grandchildren. They will be missed by family and countless friends & neighbors. Jan and Gene were deeply rooted in their Catholic faith and would go to great lengths to help family, friends, and strangers in need.

Jan enjoyed gardening, antiquing, crafts/craft show displaying, vegetable canning and volunteering at St. Michael Church and St. Joan of Arc Church.  She always enjoyed betting a buck on a game or two, and was a Vikings fan through and through! Geno was a teacher and coach at Prior Lake High School for 30 years and he loved the outdoors: hunting, fishing, training dogs and countless other things in nature. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at his Alma Mater, Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, MN, where he was a Little All American football player and a Golden Gloves boxing champion. Both Jan and Geno had a love for Labradors, and dogs were a significant part of the family. Their dog Bodie will be attending the Celebration, and will be on the back patio.   

We remember so many times family and friends would “pop-in” and to say hi and share memories of stories about Jan’s craft business, Geno’s teaching and hunting adventures, or their time together at their cabin on Upper Red Lake. Jan and Gene had a shared love of sports: from the Olympics to the Twins and Vikings, they would often be found cheering on the athletes during a game or event. Stories and laughter were a strong presence at the Nei household and all were welcomed.  We invite you to attend their Celebration of Life, on June 21st, with hopes that you, too, will have your stories to share about Jan and Geno. They are forever in our hearts and memories.

Memorials may be directed to the Music Program at St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Ave S, Mpls, MN 55419.

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Condolences for the family of “Eugene “Gene” Nei”

Condolence from Jeff Lippka on April 3rd, 2022 2:32 pm

I was one of his students in the early ’60’s. Class of ’64. He was a fine man and mentor to many. I did not know that he was an avid woodcarver. I started carving in 1990 and am quite “avid” myself. I would love to know what kinds of carving he did, if possible.

Condolence from Larry Tousignant on April 6th, 2022 6:19 pm

I knew Geno as a friend and a coach and a mentor. Geno was an original. He was a man’s man. Known at PLHS as the toughest man around. He was a Golden Glove boxing champion an a Little All American football player at Gustavus. I could tell stories about Geno for a long, long time. As could anyone who knew him. I will really miss him and always remember him.

Condolence from Keith balfanz on April 11th, 2022 9:48 pm

I met Gene when I first moved in there neighborhood in 1983. We both liked training training dogs. Throughout the years I got to know him, Jan, and his family. I learned so much about training dogs from him. But mostly it was a lot of laughing and fun talking with him. My best memory is, one day I came over and he sits meet down. He says” tell Mouse to get you a beer’ so I do, and mouse goes racing from the living room down the hall way to the back room, grabbed a sock attached to the small frig and opens it. Grabs a can of pop and brings it back to me. I asked Gene how long it took him to do that. He said 3 days, I was bored. I’m surely going to miss him. He was a good friend and a really good person.

Condolence from Mary brierley on April 14th, 2022 7:05 pm

Hugs to you louri . It’s so hard to believe both of your parents are gone . I remember lots of visits with them in prior lake. Your dad with his best little friend Jenna .

Condolence from Paul Vito on April 25th, 2022 10:45 am

For some reason, “Hey you, hockey pucks!”, has resonated with me for the past 30+ years. Just one of many “Geno-isms” that I would come to appreciate over the years. I moved to P.L. in 1985 and was fortunate enough to land in Geno’s outdoor education class. We did a woodcarving segment, and to this day I am still carving. And, also to this day, not one of my projects gets completed without hearing Geno offering words of advice and pushing me to do my best. He was a great mentor and will be missed. My deepest sympathy to his family.

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