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Gordon Brynn Neff, 82 of Petoskey, Michigan, passed away on January 17, 2024, at The Birches of Perry Farm Village in Harbor Springs, Michigan.
Son of Gordon N. and Catherine (Walgren) Neff, Brian was born on May 9, 1941, in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in Charlevoix, Michigan and graduated from Charlevoix High School. Brian then went to Detroit to a butcher meat vocation college.
Brian served in the United States Army from 1962 to 1965 during the Vietnam War. He was on a special riﬂe team that competed in shooting and sharp shooting competitions, Brian always won ﬁrst. While in the army he was mainly stationed in Germany and worked with heavy equipment trucks and tanks.
On January 21, 1967, he married the love of his life, Betty Katherine Stoker. They married at the Presbyterian Church in Southﬁeld, Michigan.
Brian owned and operated, with exquisite skill, Neff's Gourmet Sausage for 50 years. He was known for his notorious hunter sticks, bratwurst and cherry bratwurst. Once the Traverse Magazine did an article on his Swedish potato sausage and how he could always have them available for sale during the holidays. Brian helped process meat for local farmers and hunters throughout the year. Before his store, Brian was the meat manager at Giants Supermarket in Petoskey and helped other local grocers set up their own meat department.
Brian was an avid hunter in many different seasons. He received two elk raffle tags throughout his life and was able to hunt a cow and bull. He also bear hunt and had went moose hunting in Canada. Brian received the Master Angler Award and the Michigan state record for the catching the largest Brook Trout, which was caught during the winter on Little Traverse Bay.
Brian was very involved in helping the community and anyone he could. While his daughters and grandchildren were growing up, he helped them and the community with Emmet and Charlevoix County 4H Market Livestock Program. He also helped with Camp Daggett end of the year clean up and his wife’s Girl Scout duties. Brian was very active in the DNR in Gaylord, Michigan. He helped pass a law regulating the size of a turtle someone can trap in Michigan. He also liked helping at Gruler's Farm Supply, especially on chick day.
He loved his wife, daughters, grandchildren and friends very much. Brian also loved talking on the phone all morning and night.
Brian is survived by is wife Betty Neff of 56 years and just shy three days of 57 years; his children: Kathy (Jeff) Dufek, Michelle (Patrick) Fettig, and Holly (Chad) Howard; his grandchildren: Brooke Dufek, Elizabeth (Jacob) Coats, Heather Dufek, Nicholas Fettig, William Fettig, Claire Howard, Courtney Howard, and Cora Howard; his soon to be great-grandson Kevin Coats; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and many many wonderful friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents Gordon and Catherine Neff; and his sisters Marilyn Gibbons and Karen Hoffman.
A very heartfelt thank you to the wonderful care provided by Anna, Barb and all the staff at The Birches of Perry Farm Village. As well as the staff of Compassus Hospice by Debbie, Shay, Jill and Darla.Those wishing to make a charitable donation in Brian’s memory are asked to consider The Birches of Perry Farm Village: 4211 Village Circle, Harbor Springs, MI 49740.
Visitation will be held at Stone Funeral Home on May 8, 2024, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. A graveside service with military honors will be at Brookside Cemetery in Charlevoix, Michigan will be on May 9, 2024 at 10:00 AM.
Arrangements are in the care of Stone Funeral Home, Inc.
The Birches of Perry Farm Village
4211 Village Circle, Harbor Spring MI 49740