Cover photo for Neal E. Tjelle's Obituary
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Neal E. Tjelle

December 4, 1956 — May 9, 2023

South Wilmington

Neal E. Tjelle

Age 66 of South Wilmington, Illinois, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at Ascension Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois.

Born December 4, 1956 in Morris, Illinois, Neal Edwin was a son of Harry and Nina (Horrie) Tjelle. He was raised in Gardner and graduated from Gardner South Wilmington High School with the Class of 1975.

Neal worked as a Laborer with Local #75, and made his career with D Construction. He was a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in South Wilmington, and belonged to the South Wilmington Firemans Beach and Park Club where he enjoyed camping for many years and was a member of the Hillbilly 500 Club.

Neal was a very kind and hardworking guy, who jumped at every opportunity to help family and friends. He took great pleasure in gardening and doing anything outdoors, including afternoons spent with his siblings. He was a loving dad to his daughters and the best “Papa Neal” to his grandkids. Throughout the years, he loved traveling and taking road trips, particularly spending time out west and in Colorado.

A friend to all, Neal will be remembered for his kind demeanor and great smile.

Survivors include his three daughters: Brittney (Kyle) Halliday of Coal City, Illinois, Karli (Jarad) Otloe of Normal, Illinois and Karla Price of Pana, Illinois; seven grandchildren: Jack and Elle Halliday, Owen and Avery Otloe, Chase and Layne Price and Noah Weddle; four siblings: Don Tjelle and John Dale (Villa) Tjelle, both of Gardner, Bruce (Deb) Tjelle of South Wilmington and Susan Tjelle of Gardner, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Neal was preceded in death by his parents.

The family will receive friends for a visitation at Reeves Funeral Home, 203 Liberty Street in Gardner on Saturday, May 13, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Funeral services will follow at 1:00 p.m. in St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 165 Rice Road in South Wilmington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Rev. Stanley Drewniak, presiding.

Burial will be in Braceville-Gardner Cemetery.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Neal’s memory to Make-A-Wish Foundation or to the Ronald McDonald House.

Family and friends are encouraged to log onto to sign the guest book, upload photographs and share Neal’s memorial page online through social media.

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves and Baskerville Funeral Homes and Crematory. (815-237-2526)

To send flowers to the family in memory of Neal E. Tjelle, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Neal E. Tjelle, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Past Services


Saturday, May 13, 2023

9:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)

Reeves Funeral Home Gardner

203 Liberty Street, Gardner, IL 60424

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, May 13, 2023

1:00 - 1:45pm (Central time)

St Lawrence Catholic Church

165 Rice Rd, South Wilmington, IL 60474

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Saturday, May 13, 2023

2:15 - 2:45pm (Central time)

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