Michael W. Neises

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With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Michael Wade Neises, our beloved son and brother, on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. 

Michael was born March 4, 1975, in Anoka, Minn., to Chris and Barbara (Horkheimer) Neises. Michael was a beautiful, happy little boy who, at age 4, contracted viral encephalitis, a terrible disease that caused massive brain damage. Michael endured the next 41.5 years with severe mental and physical handicaps at home with his family and later at Central Wisconsin Center in Madison. Michael always seemed to have a “special way” about him, and people were drawn to him. While complications from encephalitis claimed many of his capacities, it was not able to extinguish Michael’s calm and gentle demeanor as a child, which he maintained as an adult. He frequently was “the favorite” of countless CWC staff members to whom we owe an unmeasurable debt of gratitude. Many friends and family have expressed how special Michael was, the pleasure of his company, how good he made them feel, and now… how much they will miss him. Michael was a fighter who fought to the very end. Throughout his life, Michael overcame unspeakable physical pain. While the merciless disruption of such a promising young boy could make you question everything, Michael never gave up. The cruel circumstances indiscriminately dealt to Michael not only put the challenges of those who knew him into perspective, but also drove home the fact that life frequently is not fair. Michael was living proof. Michael died at UW Hospital in Madison, with his brother, Chris, and sister-in-law, Lori, holding his hands.

Michael is survived by his parents, Chris and Barbara of Prairie du Chien, his brother Chris (Lori) of Coon Rapids, Minn., and his brother Patrick (Janelle) of Alexandria, Va. Michael also has two precious nieces, Erin Marie and Emily Ann, and two precocious nephews, Michael James and Edward Patrick.

Michael was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Louis and Rita Horkheimer, and paternal grandparents, Leonard and Elsie Neises.

When you think of Michael, please celebrate the good memories you have of him, and remember to live life, which can be fragile and tragic, to the fullest. Michael will continue to stay with us all through our memories.

Garrity Funeral Home will manage memorial and burial arrangements for Michael. Due to precautions related to COVID-19, Michael’s family will plan his Catholic mass and burial for a later, yet-to-be-determined date.

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