Harold J. Neville, Jr., 89, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on July 8, 2020. He was born in Green Bay on April 18, 1931, to Martha “Mattie” (Boehm) and Harold J. Neville, Sr. Harold went to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Grade School and then graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1949. He also attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Harold entered the United States Army in 1953 and was discharged in 1955, after serving in Korea in conjunction with the Korean War. After his father died in 1957, he took over and built up his family’s business, Perma-Wool Insulation, later changing its name to Neville’s Inc. He served as President of the company until he retired in 1992. He also founded Sell-Even Building Products.
Harold married Mary (Van Bellinger) Killoran on October 11, 1991. She preceded him in death in 2018. Harold and Mary enjoyed family, socializing with friends, going to sporting and cultural events, wintering in Florida and travel, including trips to Hawaii, Ukraine, Ireland, France, Japan, Mexico, Croatia, Slovenia and South Africa, as well as trips throughout the continental United States and Canada.
Harold coached youth sports for over 40 years, beginning in 1964. While he also coached football and basketball, Harold made his biggest impact coaching baseball. He coached and sponsored many American Legion Baseball teams over the years. In 1983, he helped start the Premontre High School baseball program and became its varsity coach. He remained coach at Premontre, and later Notre Dame Academy, for almost 20 years, until he retired from coaching. Harold coached hundreds of kids and took Notre Dame Academy’s baseball team to the Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association baseball championship game in 2000. He helped organize and sponsor a youth baseball travel exchange program with high school players and coaches from the Green By area and Ukraine in the early 1990s. He once explained that he got into coaching to “set a good example” and “be a good influence” on young people. He said he enjoyed coaching because it gave him “a chance to see kids really grow up and turn out to be decent people doing well in life.” After all, he said, “kids aren’t as bad as everybody tries to make them out to be.”
Harold was honored as the Fox Valley Christian Conference Baseball Coach of the Year in 1985, and again in 1990. He was selected to coach the 1984 All-Star Legion Baseball Game at County Stadium in Milwaukee. In 2011, Notre Dame Academy named its baseball field “Harold Neville Park” in his honor. He also was honored at the annual Red Smith Dinner and received the JC Rec Baseball Award.
In 1993, Harold was given the Founders Award by Notre Dame Academy for his strong support of Catholic education. He also was a past member of the Catholic High School Foundation.
Harold was a member of many civic organizations, including the Kiwanis Club of Allouez-Greater Green Bay, the Green Bay Elks Lodge, The American Legion, the Bellevue East Town Optimist Club and the St. Thomas More Athletic Boosters Club. Harold was smart, hardworking and kind to all. He loved his late wife, Mary, his grandchildren and all of his other family and friends. He enjoyed a good meal, and was famous for his chicken soup and his Manhattans (with just a bit of cherry juice). He was, of course, a big Green Bay Packers fan, and an avid fan of sports in general.
Harold’s good nature and dedication and devotion to God, the community, coaching and Catholic education inspired everyone around him.
Harold was preceded in death by his wife, Mary, brothers, Don (Elaine), Robert (Irene), Larry (Verna) Neville, and his sister Carol (Jerome) Klarner. Harold is survived by his stepchildren, Grant (Carrie) Killoran of Milwaukee and Erin (Joseph) Shea of Chicago, Illinois, his five grandchildren, Joseph, John “Jack” and Mary Shea, and Grant “Owen” and Margaret “Maggie” Killoran, as well as numerous Neville nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews. He also is survived by his caretaker and special friend Ellie (Jason) Petrella and her children, Evvie and Luca.
Because of restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a private visitation and burial for Harold will be held. Harold’s family anticipates holding a memorial celebration of Harold and his life when the public health crisis allows and will keep Harold’s friends and family notified of the timing of that future event.
In lieu of flowers, Harold’s family asks that donations be made in memory of Harold to Notre Dame Academy High School, 610 Maryville Drive, Green Bay, Wisconsin, to help fund its baseball program, or to the St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter, 411 St. John Street, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301.