Neelo D. Boomgaarden

Neelo D. Boomgaarden

May 15, 1945 – April 3, 2019

Preceded in death by parents, Rev. N.J.O. and Vera Boomgaarden; infant brother, Neelo Brian.  Survived by wife, Joan L.; brother, Jon (Irene); sister, Verona Roberts (David); nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, April 9th from 6pm to 8pm at the West Center Chapel.  SERVICES: Wednesday, April 10th at 11am, Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1517 S. 114th St.  Graveside Service: Thursday, April 11th at 1pm at Vernon Cemetery in Renwick, Iowa.  Memorials are suggested to Presbyterian Church of the Cross, Salvation Army, or LifeScape Children’s Services (formerly Children’s Care Hospital and School) in Sioux Falls, SD.


Neelo, son of Rev. Neelo J. O. and Vera V. (Smith) Boomgaarden, was born on May 15, 1945 in Hampton, IA. He lived in several towns beginning with Alexander, IA, then Tracy, MN, Ellsworth, MN, Reading, MN, Marion, SD, Alexandria, NE, Fullerton, NE and lastly Omaha/Elkhorn, NE.

While attending grade school in Marion, Neelo also received training at the Crippled Children’s Hospital and School in Sioux Falls, SD (now LifeScape Children’s Services). In Fullerton, NE, where he graduated from high school, he played the French horn and sang in choir. He delivered newspapers every day in the morning on this 3-wheel bicycle, mowed lawns, shoveled snow and worked in a honey factory. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where his father was the pastor, was active in Senior High Fellowship and was elected and served as a Deacon at 15 years old.

After graduation, Neelo took job skills training at Goodwill in Omaha, NE, eventually moving to Omaha to take business school classes at the NCE School of Commerce from 1970 to 1971. He did well with his 3 main jobs during his work career: Shop/Parts Clerk at Anderson Equipment Company from January, 1972 to March, 1989, Receptionist at Lindsay Water Systems from August, 1989 to March, 1991 and File Clerk in Accounting at Peter Kiewit Company from June, 1991 to March, 2004.

Neelo’s dream was to be a pastor like his father. In Omaha, he was a member of First Presbyterian Church from 1969 to 1987, West Hills Presbyterian Church until 2007, and Presbyterian Church of the Cross since then. He was a faithful member serving others and was elected as a Deacon twice at First Presbyterian Church and a couple of times at West Hills Presbyterian Church. He sang bass in the choir at all three churches, and in his early years, he sang in a barbershop quartet for a few years. Neelo really enjoyed singing! He enjoyed the people in the Friday Night Gourmets and 49ers groups at Presbyterian Church of the Cross.

Neelo met Joan Helmich at Gateways to Life, a singles group at First Presbyterian Church, and they were married at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church on June 6, 1981. Neelo was active in square dancing from 1969 to 1998 and of course Joan joined him in 1978. He played in bowling and softball leagues with Gateways to Life from 1970 to 1981. They took a couple of trips to England, a nice trip to Hawaii with Joan’s sister, Sandy, and husband, Roy, and traveled to several places in the United States, including Glacier National Park, with Fun Tours from Lincoln. They visited friends and relatives many times in Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Texas, Illinois and Minnesota.

Neelo will be remembered for many things, but especially as a man who loved the Lord, lived a Christian life, cared for and served others, loved his family, loved to laugh and make others laugh, gave the all-time, best hugs, was genuine, quick-witted, playful, well-liked, tough, a gentle soul, and just a good guy.


  • Loren Loibl Posted April 4, 2019 9:25 am

    So sorry for your loss.

    • Joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 10:50 am

      Thanks, Loren for your condolences, thanks for you and Karen coming to Neelo’s visitation.

  • John & Sherrie Bartell Posted April 4, 2019 10:33 am

    So sorry for your loss. So glad we got a chance to see everyone at the Bartell Reunion. He will be greatly missed.

    • Jon Boomgaarden Posted April 8, 2019 4:04 pm

      Thanks for responding and sharing your memories and kind thoughts of Neelo.

  • Elizabeth Sheridan Bartell Posted April 4, 2019 12:57 pm

    So glad our three grown children could meet Neelo, their first cousin-once-removed, this summer in Sutton. We enjoyed hearing Neelo sing a hymn at the reunion talent show!

    • Jon Boomgaarden Posted April 8, 2019 4:06 pm

      Thanks for responding and sharing your memories and kind thoughts of Neelo.

  • Steve Leininger Posted April 4, 2019 5:55 pm

    Jon, I am so sorry for your loss. I certainly remember Dan from my days at Fullerton.

    • Jon Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 7:08 pm

      Thanks Steve!

  • Paul and Mary Johns Posted April 4, 2019 8:34 pm

    Joan and Family,

    We are so very sorry to learn of Neelo’s passing. Our sincere sympathy and prayers, from your Elk Ridge neighbors.

    • Joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 10:52 am

      Thanks for your kind words of comfort and nice card you sent.

  • Rob Johnson Posted April 4, 2019 9:24 pm

    I remember Dan well. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My heartfelt condolences for you and your family’s loss.

    • Jon Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 7:09 pm

      Thank you Rob!

  • Mark Hunzeker Posted April 5, 2019 7:18 am

    I’m very sorry For your loss. I was young enough he didn’t need to pay any attention to me, but he was always friendly towards me.

    • Jon Boomgaarden Posted April 8, 2019 4:09 pm

      Thanks for responding, we appreciate it.

  • Madaline L Williams Posted April 7, 2019 12:00 pm

    I knew Neelo from square dancing days and Gateways before that. He was such a nice person.

    • Joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 10:54 am

      Thanks for your kind words of comfort regarding my husband, Neelo

  • Ron & Sharon Larson Posted April 8, 2019 10:44 am

    We will certainly miss the unwavering support Neelo & you (Joan) have shown your home-town of Renwick and BV Newsletters over these many years.

    • Joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 10:56 am

      Thanks so much for your kind words of comfort to me.

  • Diane Edgar Posted April 8, 2019 11:41 am

    Joan – My deepest sympathy to you. Merlo was loved by many. It has been a blessing to have had him in my life for so many years with so many warm memories of wonderful times together.. He will never be forgotten. Heaven has gained a very special angel.

    • joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 10:58 am

      Thanks for your wonderful comments, Diane, it is appreciated! Yes, Heaven has gained a special angel! Joan

  • mike gloor Posted April 9, 2019 9:11 am

    Jon and Verona, so sorry for your loss. I remember Dan’s sense of humor in band (French horns sat in front of trumpets) and his including me in his jokes even though I was an ‘underclassman’. Good memories.

    • Jon Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 7:07 pm

      Thank you Mike, very thoughtful!

  • Kim Cross Posted April 9, 2019 11:53 am

    My condolences to all that loved Neelo…or Dan as we called him at Kiewit. He was a very sweet, gentle and genuine man who took his job seriously. I was always happy to see Dan and have conversation with him as he was always welcoming and we had lots of laughs together. He worked hard. I’ll never forget his smile. I pray your memories of Dan bring you peace and may his soul rest in peace. Sending prayers and God bless you all.

    • Joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 11:00 am

      Kim, thanks for your special comments regarding my late husband, Neelo. I appreciate it so much. Joan

  • Larry and Victoria Krupa Posted April 10, 2019 8:19 am

    Joan, So very sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved husband Neelo. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

    • Joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 11:02 am

      Larry and Vicky, thanks for your comments and prayers regarding my husband, Neelo. Joan

  • Rogalyn Stevens Posted April 10, 2019 7:15 pm

    Was sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. I graduated with Dan in Fullerton class of 1963. His father, Rev. Boomgaarden, married Harold and I . About a month ago I visited with Dan as he and his wife, Joan, were eating out in Omaha. He remembered me! Wish now I could have spent more time visiting with him. Blessing to you all..

    • Joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 11:03 am

      Rogalyn, Thanks for your comments regarding my husband, Neelo. Yes, it was good to see you at Le Peep restaurant that day. Joan

  • Karen Lee Posted April 13, 2019 9:48 am

    Dear Aunt Joan, so sorry to hear about Uncle Neelo and our thoughts & prayers are with you at this sad time. I have lots of lovely memories of Uncle Neelo from trips to see you both as well as your visits to England to attend my graduation and then your trip for my sisters Wedding. I will remember Uncle Neelo as a kind, caring soul with a good sense of humour. We are thinking of you at this sad time, love Karen, Phil, Catherine and Alexander

    • Joan Boomgaarden Posted April 20, 2019 11:06 am

      Karen, thanks for sharing all of your special memories of Neelo. I am glad we could come to England to see you and enjoyed your visits here with Georgina in 1990 and 1997. Love, Joan

  • Robert and Mary Sue White Posted June 8, 2019 6:57 pm

    Joan I am so sorry to hear about Neelo. I just found out today. How are you doing?

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