Cover photo for Walter E. Neulreich's Obituary
Walter E. Neulreich Profile Photo
1917 Walter 2023

Walter E. Neulreich

July 6, 1917 — January 3, 2023

Howards Grove


Walter E. Neulreich

Walt was born to Eternal Life on January 3, 2023, age 105. Walt worked hard, loved his family, was a loyal friend, served his country, and was a devout member of the Catholic Church. He was an exemplary member of the Greatest Generation.

Born in Milwaukee on July 6, 1917, after his parents Anna M. Kohar and Walter F. Neulreich emigrated from Austria, Walter was the oldest of six children. His parents always found work during the Great Depression and taught their children the importance of helping others. Walter recalls selling the Milwaukee Sentinel for 3 cents as a young teenager. When his mother told him to take some homemade beer to the construction workers next door, the workers got to know him and let him help the masons. Before child labor laws, he learned to be a hod carrier and took an interest in the construction trades. Starting at age 16, he worked construction jobs in the summers. After Messmer High School, he attended Milwaukee Area Technical College. After the war, he put his skills to work by building his own home in Menomonee Falls with some help from his brothers.

Walter married Phyllis Darlene Burgess on March 8, 1941. They had two daughters, Darlene (Paul) Webber and Lynn (Joe) Coady. After Phyllis’s death on February 24, 1963, Walter married Marguerite Eleanore Zeck on January 24, 1964. She died on December 23, 1964. On June 24, 1967, Walter married Antonia (Toni) Marie Brulc and they were married nearly 34 years until her death on May 14, 2001.

Walt worked for the Milwaukee Road sorting metal in the scrap yard, then as an electric crane operator and finally as assistant warehouse manager. He drove the cinder truck for overtime on weekends. He was vice-president of the Railway Workers labor union. After 12 years, interrupted by military service, and feeling like he had more to offer, he answered an ad for a front desk worker for Adelman Cleaners.  While working at Adelman’s, he met a customer who invited him to sell Life Insurance for Acacia Mutual. Too many evening hours in insurance while caring for a young family led him to work as the Installation Manager at Sears Roebuck & Company where he managed contractors throughout the Greater Milwaukee area who installed fences, kitchens, bathrooms, furnaces, water heaters, and anything else that Sears sold that needed a contractor to install. One of his contractors, McCoy Construction, saw the value of having a man with years of construction and sales experience. After Walt retired from Sears in 1980, he worked part-time as a Sales Statistician for McCoy. In 2015, at age 98, Walter retired and moved from his home of 66 years in Menomonee Falls, WI to Howards Grove WI.

Walt was inducted into the U.S. Army at Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 18, 1943, and went to Basic Training with the Army Air Corps in Saint Petersburg, Florida. He served as an Administrative Specialist in the Continental United States with the 616th Training Group of the 64th Training Wing, 2nd U.S. Army Air Force, in Lincoln, Nebraska; and at Peterson Field in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He also served for a time at Dalhart Army Air Base, Texas; Pyote Army Air Base, Texas; and Davis-Monthan Army Air Base, Tucson, Arizona. His wife Phyllis traveled with him to these assignments. His military record indicates that he “supervised as many as 800 military personnel in the preparation of correspondence, records, forms, reports, and orders.” His Honorable Discharge on February 16, 1946 indicates his status as a Staff Sergeant with the 200th Army Air Forces Base Unit at Peterson Field, Colorado Springs, Colorado. What the record doesn't show is that he was appointed acting First Sergeant at Peterson Field without the benefit of promotion to that rank. He knew how to handle men. 

Walt stayed in the Reserves and received an Honorable Discharge from the USAF Reserve on January 12, 1949. He followed this with a second enlistment and served as a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force Reserve from January 13, 1949, until his Honorable Discharge on October 6, 1952.

Walter consistently sent cards and letters to friends and family. Birthday and anniversary cards always included a poem copied from one of his many books of inspirational poetry.  He cherished his time with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Walter volunteered as a blood donor and was recognized as a Milestone Donor by the Blood Center of Wisconsin with 556 units. He served in the St. Vincent DePaul Society delivering kind words and groceries to families in need. Walter was a member of the St. James Catholic Church Choir in Menomonee Falls WI. He treasured his time with choir members and choir director, Barbara Schuelke.

He inspired others with his proliferous garden and walking tours of his yard, teaching others the Latin names for the diverse flora. He enjoyed time in his woodworking shop, making toys for his grandchildren. Neighbors will remember seeing “Walking Walter” with his work boots laced high, walking an hour each day.

Walter is survived by his daughter Lynn (Joe) Coady of Howards Grove, son-in-law Paul Webber (Linda) of Colorado Springs, his grandchildren Timothy Webber, Rachel (Steve) Webber Wilson, Joshua (Adrienne Miller) Coady, Nicholas Coady, and his great-grandchildren Olivia Wilson and Rowen Joseph Miller Coady, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Phyllis, his wife Marquerite, his wife Antonia (Toni), daughter Darlene Webber, sisters Margaret (Art) Laumann, Mary (John) Chermak, brothers Otto, Henry, Robert and grandson Benjamin Coady.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church (94 Lincoln Street, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020) with Fr. Phil Reifenberg presiding.

A special thank you to the caregivers from Tender Hearts Senior Care in Sheboygan and the Aurora Hospice Team for their attentive and compassionate care.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Walter Neulreich Memorial at Lakeshore Technical College Foundation, 1290 North Avenue Cleveland WI 53015. Walter was an advocate for education in the building trades and a longtime supporter of NARI.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 14, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

Lincoln St, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020

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