Delford Gene Neufeld

 

Delford Gene Neufeld went home peacefully to be with the Lord on Sunday, Nov. 6, at Billings Health and Rehabilitation Community. He was 81 years old.

He was born on Jan. 21, 1935, in Glasgow, Mont., to Jake and Ida Neufeld. He spent his first years in Wheeler, while his father worked on the Fort Peck Dam. They moved to a farm in Larslan, where Del was joined by siblings Lois (1936), Roy (1949), and Karen (1952).

He was raised in the Larslan Mennonite Brethren Church and was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior at the age of 9. He went to school in Larslan and completed his high school years at Lustre Christian Academy, graduating as Salutatorian in 1953.

He purchased a farm in the Baylor community with his first wife, Leona Toavs, (married from 1955 – 1970). Together they had four daughters: Kim (1956); Carla (1959); Valerie (1961) and Pamela (1964). He retired in 1970 and moved the family to Billings so that Pam could go to a special school.


He married his second wife, Norma (Lipscomb) Messner of Glasgow in 1971, (married from 1971 – 2014), and were joined by her two adopted children, Sandy and Lonnie. Together, they had three sons: Jason (1972); Gregory (1974); and Jay-Jacob (1978).

He was really an entrepreneur who enjoyed the art of the deal. He also enjoyed fishing and water-skiing with family at Fort Peck Lake, where the family had moved a one-room schoolhouse. He taught his daughters to race snowmobiles around the state. Sometimes they would hook a cart to the back so they could pull Leona and Pam. He enjoyed collecting many classic cars. His sons spent many days in wrecking yards, finding parts for his cars. He was particularly fond of older Thunderbirds, Lincolns, and Mustangs. Later in his life, he especially loved reading his Bible, listening to radio programs, and worshipping his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Life was not easy for him as he struggled with severe allergies from his boyhood. In his thirties, he experienced grave health problems and was diagnosed with Manic Depression and a form of Dementia. Life was full of highs and lows, but through it all he clung to God's grace. In the book of Ephesians the Bible says, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved." Some of Del's very last words were, "It's all for Jesus, all for Jesus."


He was preceded in death by his parents, Jake and Ida, and his son, Jason.

Survivors include siblings Lois Dyck and her husband, Harold, of Wolf Point; Roy Neufeld and his wife, Carol, of Larslan, and Karen Watterud of Colorado Springs, Colo .; former wives Leona Neufeld and Norma Neufeld, both of Billings; and children: Kim Neufeld of Billings, Carla Martin of Billings, Valerie (Egan) of Billings, Pamela Neufeld of Billings, Greg Neufeld of Seagoville, Texas, and Jake Neufeld of St. Louis, Mo; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The funeral service was held at Smith Funeral Chapels West at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Billings, followed by interment at Terrace Gardens Cemetery.

 

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