Christina Marie Neigel
December 17, 1922 – December 31, 2018
Chris Neigel passed from this world on December 31st, of natural causes at the age of 96. Her children, their spouses, grandchildren, her brother Don and sister-in-law Bonnie were at her side. She was smiling and happy to the end, wanted to be remembered by "Even when there are bumps in the road, keep on going".
Born in Verendrye North Dakota in 1922, to Frank and Margaret Schwab, and the oldest of 9 children. the family moved between North Dakota and Portland Oregon several times over the next decades. ‘Christy’ to her family and ‘Chris’ to her friends, she attended and graduated high school. She moved to Portland and attended Business College.
She applied to and was initially accepted to Military officer training at the beginning of WWII, but was later rejected due to needing glasses. Instead she volunteered with the Red Cross in Portland to support the troops.
She worked several jobs over the years mostly in bookkeeping, including a wood manufacturing company “Timber Structures” a company where her father had worked as a laborer several years before. She knew her husband George from an early age back in the Dakota’s, as their families had common bonds. And eventually, after George had returned from the war they had their first date on New Year’s Eve 1945, they were married in November of 1946. George worked for the ‘Taxation Department’ (now the IRS) and they lived in the Portland Area raising their first 5 children. With a Job transfer in 1957 to Pendleton Oregon, where they had 3 more to raise. And in 1966 moved back to Portland to stay. Throughout her life, Chris always ‘kept going’, from the tough winters of the Dakotas during the depression, the war efforts during WWII, tending her home, raising their children, and then returning to the workforce making draperies once the kids were all in school. Her words “what else would you do?” downplays the great significance and impact she had in the lives of those around her.
Chris’ faith was always her support, her mother, not always able to attend church but had a deep connection with praying the Rosary. So, Chris was instrumental in getting the live radio broadcast of the prayer session to be transmitted every weekend so her mother could listen and pray along.
With the death of her best friend and husband George in 1975, Chris rose to meet the latest “bump in the road”. She learned to drive at age 54, and ‘kept going’ to raise her last three children into adulthood. Still working, making draperies, Volunteering to assist elderly with their taxes, working with St. Vincent De Paul for needy, assisting with church functions and of course keeping tabs on her kids and grandkids.
Chris loved to travel, she visited her daughter and son-in-law stationed in Germany twice, she would travel with her sisters back to the Dakota’s for class reunions. She would go to Louisiana to visit her sister Irene, and San Francisco to her sister Angie. Her favorite trip was with the church to visit the holy lands.
In the latter years of her life, Chris continued to keep people smiling and showing appreciation to those in her life. Philanthropy to causes she believed in, The Wounded Warrior Project, The WWII wall of names, supporting a child in the Philippines to complete his schooling, or church flowers. From having frozen ding dongs in her freezer or having “Pirolienes” cookies for the staff and visitors at her assisted living apartment. She always wanted to give back to those that needed.
Chris is survived by her children; Paul (Karen), Karen King, Mark (Stephanie), James (Julie), Teresa Kuchler (George), Mary, John, and Wayne (Shawna). Her Siblings Don Schwab (Bonnie) and Angela (Schwab) McClary, her sister-in-law Sue Schwab (Albert). 8 Grand Children; Trina (Adam), Aaron (Jessica), Daniel (Michelle), Jordan (Erin), Michael (Andrea), Nicholas, Tim (Amy), and Sydney. 6 Great Grandchildren; Jenna, Ethan, Taylor, Abby, Evan and Tenley Rose. As well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband George, their son Gary, son-in-law Kim(Mary) Her Siblings; Edward, Irene Doise (Elery), Albert, Wendell, Maryanne Danek, and Margaret Andrezewski (Al), as well as her parents, and her sisters-in-law Delores (Neigel) Friedt (George) and Lenora (Neigel) Urlacher (John).
Services: A recitation of Holy Rosary will be held at 6:30PM, St Joseph Chapel @ Laurelhurst Village@ 3060 SE Stark, Portland OR on Friday January 4. A memorial Catholic Mass will be held at St. Charles Borromeo @ 5310 NE 42nd Ave. Portland OR on Saturday January 5 at 10am.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to organizations close to Chris' heart. Mt. St. Joseph Chapel @ Laurelhurst Village call 503-535-4700 for information House Call Providers of Portland call 971-202-5500 for information
- Recitation of the Rosary Friday, January 4, 2019
- Memorial Mass Saturday, January 5, 2019