MARQUETTE, Mich. - Arthur (Bart) Neiger, age 86, of Marquette, entered eternal life Friday morning, July 12, 2013, at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in the loving and comforting care of his family and Lake Superior Hospice.
Bart was born in Petoskey, Michigan and was raised nearby in Pellston by his grandmother. Upon graduating high school, Bart served in the "Blue Devils" 88th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, in Italy during WWII. Following his discharge, Bart began his extensive academic career using his GI Bill at Central Michigan University; it was also at CMU where he first met his wife to be, Virginia Stanhope. Upon receiving his Bachelor's degree in Industrial Education, Bart went to work for his hometown school district. While in Pellston, the couple established their home and began raising a family. Bart was extremely involved in various civic duties throughout his life; his wife often said he "became the president of everything he ever joined". Over the years, he was Township Treasurer, Athletic Director, school bus driver, Boy Scout Leader, Future Farmers of America advisor, President of Michigan's Industrial Arts Association of Educators, and Lions Club President, to name a few. Bart's academic success was furthered by completing his Masters Degree at the University of Michigan. Bart began his tenure at Northern Michigan University in the summer of 1960 as an Associate Industrial Arts Professor. While at NMU, he started up the Continuing Education Department and was responsible for the development of many Associate Degree programs; he excelled in grant writing and secured funding to hire many of the educators for these new programs. Bart remained an active supporter of the military, heading up a Veteran's Affairs Department, which aided Vietnam Vets returning home and got them enrolled at NMU using their GI Bill. He was a volunteer for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, establishing many new posts around the U.P., including Marquette, which promoted safe boating practices as well as assisting the Coast Guard in many capacities. Bart successfully achieved one of the highest civilian ratings, Coxswain, as an Auxiliarist. He became Rear Commodore of the Ninth District, and was later elected Commodore of the Ninth District (The Great Lakes region). He retired from NMU in 1986 after 26 years and the Coast Guard Auxiliary after 40 years. In his spare time, Bart was an avid fisherman, hunter, boater and woodworker; he handcrafted many pieces of fine furniture for his family that they all cherish.
Bart and Virginia's first priority was always their family. Bart's children were instilled with his generation's strong moral compass and work ethic. Bart is survived by his wife, Virginia (Stanhope) Neiger; sons, David (Elizabeth Lyons) Neiger of Benzonia, MI, Michael Neiger of Marquette, MI, Steven Neiger of Mt. Pleasant, MI; daughter, Susan (Dennis) Roubal of Marquette, MI; grandchildren, Jamie Neiger, Nicholas Neiger, and Kenneth Roubal.
Bart was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Philip Koopman.
Visitation for Bart will be held Tuesday, July 16 at the First United Methodist Church in Marquette from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. A memorial service will take place in the church beginning at noon. Rev. Ben Bohnsack will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the The Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (www.pwsausa.org), Lake Superior Hospice, or the D.J. Jacobetti Activity Fund.
The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com.