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John Albert “Ab” Neary 1933-2012

Apr 24, 2012

A Mass of Christian Burial for John Albert Neary of Emmetsburg was Monday, April 23, at Holy Family Catholic Church, Emmetsburg.

Burial St. John’s Cemetery, Emmetsburg. The Joyce Funeral Home in Emmetsburg was in charge of arrangements.

John Albert “Ab” Neary was born Oct. 26, 1933 at Emmetsburg, the son of William Raymond and Mary Evelyn (Leary) Neary. He was the great-grandson of John Neary, one of the seven original Irish Settlers of the Irish colony called Emmetsburg. Ab graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Emmetsburg before joining the United States Army, serving during the Korean War.

Following his service, he went to barber school, and he owned and operated his own barber shop. Ab was united in marriage to Janet Eagan on Aug. 22, 1960, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ayrshire.

In 1972, Ab became deputy sheriff, and in 1980, he was elected Sheriff of Palo Alto County. Following his law enforcement career, Ab worked at Eaton’s in Spencer, and he was a bus driver for the Emmetsburg Community School District until retiring for health reasons.

Ab was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. Ab also served on the Emmetsburg Fire Department. As a younger man, he was a member of the Emmetsburg Jaycee’s, and he spent many hours volunteering for the St. Patrick’s Association. Ab enjoyed working, politics, Twins Baseball and Notre Dame Football. He treasured his family. He loved to spend time with all of his grandchildren and watch them participate in all of their activities.

On Thursday, April 19, 2012, John Albert Neary passed away at the Palo Alto County Hospital. He was 78.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Janet of Emmetsburg, four daughters: Therese Geelan (Phil) of Ruthven, Joanie Seaman (Ty) of Storm Lake, Julie Hayden (Mark) of Moville and Chris Block (Dan) of Spirit Lake; eight grandchildren: Jack Geelan, Ben Seaman, Nic Seaman, James Hayden, Joe Hayden, Nora Seaman, Erin Block and William Block; sister: Evelyn Kliegl (George) of Emmetsburg; brother, Dick Neary (Katie) of Emmetsburg; sister-in-law: Marilyn Neary of Emmetsburg.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and three brothers: Bill, Jerry and Pat.

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