Neil Shane Hester, age 43, of Winona, passed away on Friday, August 20, 2021, at the Gundersen Health System Hospital in La Crosse.
He was born on June 1, 1978, in Winona, to Neil David Hester, Jr., and Diane (Hjelmeland) Hester. Neil was baptized at First Congregational Church in Winona, and recently began attending Pleasant Valley Church, where he was in the process of reaffirming his faith and rededicating his life to Christ.
Prior to his health conditions, Neil was employed at various restaurants, working in the kitchen as a cook.
Neil expressed himself through art and poetry, as well as his passion with coloring. His greatest hobby was his collection and sales of matchbox cars. Because of the struggles he experienced in his own life, Neil was extremely kind-hearted and was never judgmental, and his great personality and sense of humor and fun was immediately seen by anyone who met him. His greatest passion in life was how he loved and cared for his family. He will be deeply missed and remembered always by all those who knew and loved him.
Neil is lovingly survived by his parents: Neil David Hester, Jr., and Diane Burdey; brother: Coy Vance Hester; half-brothers: Isaiah Burdey, Isaac Burdey, and Levi David Gilmore; step-brother: Joshua Burdey; step-father: Steven Burdey; maternal grandmother: Arla Hjelmeland; sister-in-law: Colleen Hester; a beloved uncle to: Cayden, Addy, and Eli; his aunts and uncles: Deneice Stark, Deb Hjelmeland, Neil (Stacey) Hjelmeland, Chris Hjelmeland, Brian (Tina) Hjelmeland, Brad (Angie) Hjelmeland, and Chad Hester; as well as many cousins, other relatives and friends, including his beloved dog and companion, May.
There were many losses of those close to Neil, and these included: his paternal grandfather: Neil David Hester, Sr.; his beloved paternal grandmother, who was like a second mother to him: Theda Hester; maternal grandfather: Lester Hjelmeland; cousins: Nathan Stier and Sydney Hjelmeland; and uncles: Shane Daniel Hester, Sr., and Timothy Stark.
Visitation will be held from 6 PM until 8 PM on Thursday, August 26, 2021, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 376 East Sarnia St., Winona. Visitation will also be held from 11 AM until a funeral service at 12 Noon on Friday, August 27, 2021, at Pleasant Valley Church in Winona. Pastor Joe McConkey will officiate. Neil will be laid to rest in a private family ceremony at the Eagle Valley Cemetery, rural Fountain City, WI.
Pallbearers will be: Gabe Jewell and Pat Smith; honorary pallbearers will be: Cayden, Addy, and Eli; and Neil, Chris, Brian, and Brad Hjelmeland.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that memorials be directed to a favorite charity.
Please visit www.watkowski-mulyck.com to leave online condolences, and to view a recording of Neil’s service when it becomes available.
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