Neil Earl Huwatschek

BRENTWOOD, Calif. — Neil Earl Huwatschek, age 80, of Brentwood, California, passed away of heart disease at his home on Sunday, January 31.

He was born on June 18, 1940 to Dr. Earl G. and Hope (Smith) Huwatschek at Sheboygan Memorial Hospital in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Neil grew up in Port Washington, Wisconsin. He graduated from Port Washington High School, Class of 1958.

At the age of seventeen Neil joined the US Navy. When his three year military obligation was completed, he returned to Port Washington and operated the local Dairy Queen with his brother Ned and sister Lenys.

Neil joined the Port Washington Fire Department under a friend’s guidance. This was the start of an admirable thirty-year career in fire fighting.

In 1962, Neil moved to California where the climate was better suited for his health. He joined the fire department in Palos Verdes, California and then transferred to Campbell, California. Neil then worked 20 plus years at the Fremont, California, Fire Department, where he retired in 1992. He and wife Susan moved to Arnold, California. Neil continued his years of public safety service by becoming the Quartermaster for the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue, a position he held for over 10 years.

One of Neil’s greatest loves was visiting the Keweenaw County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His family, Smith Bros., owned and operated Smith Fisheries in Bete Gris, Michigan and that drew Neil’s parents to purchase a cottage in Lac La Belle, Michigan. Every Summer since Neil was a baby, Earl and Hope would take their family to the U.P. to spend the whole month of August in “God’s Country.” Neil was very handy. He could fix or build almost anything, and enjoyed working on projects in and around the cottage. After planting roots in California, Neil would still return to Wisconsin annually to visit family and also to travel to the Copper Country. There are many projects around the Bailey House which was built in 1873 on Docs Drive with the initials “NEH” on it.

Neil is survived by his wife Susan, daughter Kristi Huwatschek of Antioch, California, two step-sons, a step-daughter, brother Ned Huwatschek (Stella Mottonen) of Lac La Belle, sister Lenys Walden (Dennis Condon) of Port Washington, 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He will be deeply missed by all. A private family memorial service in California will be held.