Harry R. Nevling -- Rochester

December 17, 2018

Harry R. Nevling, 72, of Rochester passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 12 due to heart failure.

Harry was born on Sept. 15, 1946 at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester to Ruth M. and Edwin Reid Nevling. He grew up in the southeast part of the city. He attended Holmes Elementary and Central Junior High Schools. For high school, he went to the Southern School of Agriculture in Waseca.

Harry enlisted in the U.S. Army in November of 1965. He worked his way up through the ranks holding nine ranks in three grade structures attaining the rank of captain.

He spent two tours of duty in Vietnam, the first as a radio operator with A Company, 124th Signal Battalion, 4th Infantry Division in 1966 and 1967.

He returned to the States and attended flight school and graduated as a Warrant Officer Aviator. He then went to Fort Sill in Oklahoma to transition into the CH-47 Chinook and form up with a new unit, C Company, 159th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion (“Playtex”), 101st Airborne Division. Shortly after his arrival in Vietnam in late December of 1968 for his second tour, he was transferred to A Company (“Pachyderm”). In August, he was transferred to the 242nd Assault Support Helicopter Company (“Muleskinners”) at Cu Chi.

During his service, Harry was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, two bronze stars, the Air medal with Valor device and 22 oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation medal, Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service medal with the Vietnam Campaign medal with five battle stars, the Vietnam Service medal, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palms. He also attained nine ranks in three grade structures (E1-E5, WO1, CW2, 1LT, and CPT) by about his sixth anniversary.

Harry also served briefly with D Co. 40th Avn. BN, 40th INF DIV of the Colorado National Guard.

Following his active duty service, he returned to Minnesota and obtained an Associate’s degree in Business from Rochester Community College and Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Economics (dual major) cum laude from the University of Winona. He later obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Colorado.

Harry spent most of his post-Army career in health care human resources with more than 22 years of service as the chief human resources officer with Longmont (CO) United Hospital. Harry’s career ended as vice president for human resources in 2000, when health forced his retirement. During this career, Harry, along with other positions, was president of both his State and National professional organizations. He also attained a life designation as Senior Processional in Human Resources.

Harry and his wife, Joanne, relocated back to Rochester with their son, who had become disabled in 1993.

Harry became quite involved with volunteer activities with a number of different organizations working with the disabled, especially brain injury survivors. These organizations included The Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance (recipient of the Elinor D. Hands award), Minnesota Department of Human Services Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Committee, Olmsted County Community Services Advisory Board, Rochester Area Brain Injury Community Committee, Region 10 Stakeholders, Region 10 Quality Assurance Commission, and the Region Quality Council.

Harry also enjoyed restoring furniture, ceramics, and fishing, when he could find the time.

Harry is survived by his wife, Joanne C. (Meyer) Nevling; son, Terry J. Nevling; sisters, Jean M. (Nevling) Gooderum of Stewartville, and Karen A. (Nevling) Glynn of Eyota; and three nephews, Mark Gooderum of Texas, Kevin Gooderum of Eyota, and Tracy J. Serfoss (also considered an honorary son). He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.

Memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 18 in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home with the Rev. Lester Horntvedt officiating.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service in the chapel. Military honors will be provided by the Rochester VFW Post 1215. Burial will be in the Chatfield Cemetery.

Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.

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