Neil Charles Sideen, age 71, of Howard Lake, passed away Friday, March 6, 2015, in McAllen, TX, after over a year battle with complications after heart surgery (LVAD).
A celebration of Neil’s life will take place Monday, March 16 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake; followed by interment at Union Cemetery in St. Paul.
Visitation was Sunday, March 15 from 3 to 7 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake; and continues Monday one hour prior to the service at the church.
Arrangements are with the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake; www.swansonpeterson.com
Memorials are preferred. Neil has worked with many unbelievable organizations and money will be given to: Caring Bridge, the LVAD program, the Therapy Dogs group/READ group, St. John’s Lutheran of Howard Lake, and to a scholarship for students.
Neil was born March 17, 1943, in St. Paul, to Charles and Eleda Sideen. He was baptized and confirmed at Gustavus Lutheran Church in St. Paul.
He attended school in East St. Paul, and graduated from Johnson High School in 1961. Neil furthered his education, obtaining his bachelor’s degree from Augsburg College, Minneapolis; and his master’s degree from the University of Iowa at Iowa City.
Neil taught his first two years in Finlayson, MN, and then 19 years in Howard Lake-Waverly School District, where he taught English and set up the first vocational television program in the state (KRUM/KRUD). He also taught at the Hutchinson Technical College in TV production and AAS degree English.
Neil’s first job was as a paper boy, and he later worked at the YMCA in East St. Paul. After obtaining his master’s degree, he worked 26 years part time and later, full time at KTCA Public TV in St. Paul, and next at KARE 11, Minneapolis. He retired from Howard Lake Cable TV.
Neil met Carol Jagusch in Howard Lake, and they were married for 41 years. They hosted many exchange students, and worked with foster children.
Neil and Carol also volunteered in many local organizations at St. John’s Lutheran Church and in Howard Lake; and most recently with Therapy Dogs, Inc. and READ dogs. Their most recent border collie was trained as a therapy dog by Neil, and has volunteered at many local nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and libraries.
Neil loved amateur radio, and in everything, helping people. He was very proud of his Swedish heritage.
His legacy, as a teacher of mostly high school and college students, is seeing the seeds he planted grow and flourish. He was teaching in some fashion until the last day.
Neil is survived by his wife, Carol; faithful companion, Penny; sisters-in-law Helen (Roger) Manthei, and Carol Ann Sideen; nieces Denise (Clayton) McNeff, and Diane Sideen; nephew Daniel Sideen; exchange student sons: Jan Roth (Germany), Per Bjalkander (Sweden/Congo), Rudiger Hansel (Germany), Martin Belkert (Sweden), and Thomas Gothlin (Sweden); many cousins (mostly in Canada); and many, many friends, co-workers, and former students.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Eleda Sideen; in-laws, Robert F. and Martha Jagusch; a brother, Wesley Sideen; a nephew, David Sideen; and many aunts and uncles.