Neil R. Laube, 75, of Junction City, Wis., died peacefully from cancer, January 1, 2019, while holding the hand of his wife of 50 years, Mary Jo (Kethcart) Laube, in their home. He was born January 10, 1943, in Brodhead, Wis., the son of the late Elzie V. and late Granada (Dinse) Laube.

Neil graduated from Brodhead High School in 1960 and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966. He married Mary Jo Kethcart on July 13, 1968. Neil farmed his family’s land in Brodhead for more than 40 years and was a charter and board member of the WI Corn Growers Association and member of the WI Soybean Growers Association.

He was active in the Jaycees, Optimists, and Farm Bureau; played in the Rock County Rural Band; was a leader in the Avon 4-H Club; and was a devoted member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

In 2006, Neil and Mary Jo relocated to Stevens Point, Wis., allowing them to be closer to their first grandchild and the beauty of Central and Northern Wisconsin. His circle of friends quickly grew as they became part of the Redeemer Lutheran Church family, engaged in breakfast conversations at South Point Restaurant in Stevens Point, and spent time at their Foxfire Campground trailer in Woodruff, Wis.

Neil embraced opportunities to learn and to experience. He not only loved to hunt, fish, travel, camp, and enjoy nature, but also enjoyed photography, theater, reading, and art. Time spent with his four grandchildren brought him—and them—great joy. He was a talker and a thinker, and was loved by many. Neil truly believed the greatest gift he could give was a smile—and family, friends, and strangers all became gracious recipients of these throughout his life.

Neil is survived by his wife, Mary Jo; four children, Heather (Shane Clary) Laube of Flint, Mich., Isaac (Kim) Laube of Minocqua, Wis., Natasha (Lane) Wetterau of Junction City, Wis., and Trina (Kurt Miller) Laube of Stevens Point, Wis.; and four grandchildren, Adyson and Leah Wetterau, Paxon Laube-Clary, and Taya Miller. He is further survived by his brothers Elzie Jr. (Irene) Laube, Mark (Anita [deceased]) Laube, Scott (Mary) Laube, and Brian Laube.

Family and friends will gather at Redeemer Lutheran Church (the Beloved Community), 900 Brilowski Road, Stevens Point, to celebrate Neil’s life on Jan. 10, 2019, which would have been his 76th birthday. Visitation begins at 3 p.m. with service at 4 p.m. Dinner will follow.

Memorial donations may be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church or to Heartland Hospice, both in Stevens Point.