Neil Klaudt died in the comfort of his home on the morning of October 13th. It was something that he looked forward to for a long time. He took his faith seriously, he believed it with all his heart, and he was welcomed by his heavenly Father as a good and faithful servant.
Neil was born in Linton, North Dakota to Henry and Olga Klaudt and he had 7 brothers and sisters. Like many North Dakotan’s he transferred to the greatest state in the union, Montana, when he was in High School. He attended Ronan High School in the Mission Valley and always talked about living on the Reservation fondly. They liked to play basketball, hunting, fishing, and boxing; all things he loved to do.
Neil met his wife of 70 years Caryl Remington while he was in High School. After they were married, they moved to Kalispell where they had their first of four sons, Donald Klaudt, and second son Ken Klaudt. Neil did many odd jobs, including logging and Christmas tree sales, until he finally found his passion in carpentry after they moved to Missoula. This was before he met the Great Carpenter, Jesus.
When asked how he learned carpentry he said he would show up to job sites, look how they did it, then go practice on his own. He ended up being a foreman for Gordon Construction accompanied by his friend Dick McKenzie. For over 50 years his legacy and expertise in building was admired by many and is seen all over Missoula. If you have ever stayed or visited at St. Pats Hospital you can thank Neil Klaudt.
He also found a passion in gardening and always had a bountiful harvest. So bountiful, there was no way they could ever eat all of it. At some point you saw his one of a kind 1988 brown Chevy truck driving around town doing deliveries to everyone he knew. The whole family would always walk in the door, go straight to the fridge, and grab one of his home-made pickles from cucumbers he grew. Nothing was better than his sweet corn though; it was a fall highlight every year.
Both Neil and Caryl suffered great tragedy in their long marriage together. Neil lost a younger brother to a swimming accident. He would later lose his youngest son Scott Klaudt in an automobile accident before his Senior graduation from Hellgate High School. In 2004 he would lose his oldest son Don to cancer, and in 2012 he lost his 3rd son Gary. Through it all he never lost his faith, never doubted the love of his Savior.
Out of all the things he will be known for, most will know him for his dedication to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Many of you reading this have heard his appeal for you to accept Jesus. He meant it, he loved God, he loved you, and he wanted you to know God’s love for yourself. Now as he stands before Him, his greatest desire would for you to still know Him.
Neil was loved by his family, especially by his grandkids and great grandkids. He was a pillar of the Klaudt family, and we are so blessed to have him in our lives. Although we will miss him, we also are excited for him to meet Jesus in person, and be reunited with his 3 sons, and other family members. May his legacy of faith live on in everyone who encountered him.
Due to Covid-19 there will be a graveside service for family only. A memorial service will be held at later date and will be announced. If you would like to view the service it will streamed below at 12pm on Friday, October 16th, 2020.