In Loving Memory
James J. Neff, D.D.S.
September 24, 1947 – August 13, 2013
Founding Member of
Living Waters Christian Fellowship
Jim has been many things to us: our brother in Christ, friend, mentor, leader and inspiration. We are grateful for the time we had with him because there was much to learn from his life. He helped teach us about having compassion for people, and having a passion for the Word of God, as well as stepping out in faith to help others experience the Lord. We are so thankful for the way he lived his life. The Spirit of Christ dwelt within his earthly body, making it possible for him to have eternal effects on those who came into contact with him at his home, at his dental clinic in Winsted, or on one of his many mission trips. He had a passion to help make life better for people on this earth, but an even greater passion to introduce them to Jesus. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy lives on!
James Jeffrey Neff entered into his eternal rest on Tuesday, August 13 at the age of 65.
James “Jim” Neff was born in Oak Park, IL on September 24, 1947 to Leonard and Florence (Lottridge) Neff. He spent his adolescent and high school years with his family in Chippewa Falls, WI. Jim graduated with a B.S. degree from University of WI- Eau Claire and with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree from Marquette University. After serving a term as a Dentist in the Air Force in Washington, Jim decided to leave active duty in the military and start private practice dentistry. He and his beloved wife Norma researched 50 communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and agreed that Winsted would fulfill most of their desires for a good environment in which to raise their children, be close to family, have a quality lifestyle, and provide high quality dental care.
Jim had many interests, and always jumped into life with both feet in running stride. Besides maintaining a successful, state-of-the art dental clinic, he was active in many community activities, and in national and international organizations. He was a 5th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and was instrumental in developing the Winsted Karate Club, which trained several world champions within the ASKF organization. He was active for many years in contributing to the growth of Winsted through his leadership in the Winsted Civic and Commerce Association and the Winsted Community Chest. Additionally, he served as a Director, Vice Chairman and Chairman of St. Mary’s Hospital and Home, and as a Director of Health Central Systems. He was on the Founding Board of St. Mary’s Apartments (now Linden Wood Apartments), was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 407, and a member of the Waverly Boosters. He also served for many years on the Board of Directors of Mayer Lutheran High School. Jim served in various leadership capacities in the churches which he attended over the years. In 1989 he was presented the Outstanding Citizen Award by the Winsted Civic and Commerce Association, and in 2001 he was presented the Outstanding Service Award by the City of Winsted.
For over a decade, Jim has served on the Board of Directors of VVMI (Vernacular Video Missions International), and has been the chairman since 2004. Through this organization, he has enabled nationals in the Philippines, Guatemala and Peru to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through Christian Videos in their heart languages. He was also instrumental in beginning the Our Father’s Promise School of Ministry and Living Waters Christian Fellowship.
Jim loved the Lord Jesus Christ with his total being and boldly proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God to people with whom he came in contact. He loved to pray for people and was known for how he reflected the love of Christ. Jim loved God’s creation, and enjoyed being outside bicycling, kayaking, SCUBA diving, camping, hiking and cross country skiing.
Jim is survived by his wife Mary (Meyer Stamm), his brother Richard (Lisa) Neff, his daughters Carla (Chris) and Patricia (David) and his sons Brian (Joy) and Sid (Rebecca), his brothers-in-law: John (Vicki) & Marv (Gloria) Schauland; his sister-in-law Gena Meyer and brother-in-law Nick (Barbara) Meyer. Jim has six grandchildren, Joseph, Emma, Maggie, Alanna, Isabella and Arya and thirteen nieces.
Jim was preceded in death by his first wife Norma, brothers Lewis and Allan, father Leonard and mother Florence, step-mother Nancy, father-in-law and mother-in-law Oscar and Emma Schauland, mother-in-law Mildred Meyer, sisters-in-law: Ruth Schauland & Mary Schauland.