Neal believed that if it had wheels it could fly! He also learned to carry his first buckets of feed, ride
his first horse, and run fast when the cows came at him. He attended Alexander school at this time and it was here in first grade
when he met his future sweetheart Anne-Marie Heen. In the summer of 1993, Neal and his family moved to the Schilling Ranch where Neal
attended Rau school. He quickly made many friends even though he was there for only a short while. They moved back to the Nygaard
Ranch where Neal finished out his second grade year back in Alexander. In June of 1994, they moved to Eleanor Trotters Ranch in the
rough breaks of the Badlands. He attended his next years of schooling between Rau and Grassy Butte. Neal and Louis enjoyed many summer
days playing in the muddy river with their cousins and Rex. He spent many long hours, in the saddle on his first horse, Follow, helping
his dad ride. In November of 1997, they left the river ranch and headed to the Vuylsteke Ranch on Bennie Pierre Creek. While living
here Neal again attended Alexander school and enjoyed fishing with his friends at Sather Dam. Neal loved snowmobiling, four wheeling,
and motorcycling. In May of 2000 they moved to the Jacobson Ranch. In 2004 Neal graduated from Alexander High School.
Neal's college career included various schools in various communities. In August of 2004 he attended NDSU Fargo then UND Williston. He was employed by Nabor's Drilling the summer of 2005. He returned to Fargo that fall for another semester and then NDSCS in Wahpeton for a final semester. Neal ended his college career at this time. He had decided to work full time for Nabors. He enjoyed the camaraderie he shared with his co-workers and friends and soon settled into the area, where the "Man Shack", became home.
On his days off from the oil field you could often find Neal helping his dad on the ranch. Neal loved the ranch life. He had recently purchased his own cows and was getting his own start. He would have sold his first calf crop this fall. At a very young age Neal started understanding cattle. He handled them as good as any cowman before he was a man.
Neal loved to tease, or torment, according to Louis. Even so, all through his life, when Neal wasn't fighting with Louis, he was taking care of his brother. Neal never let anything get him down. He had a knack for making up new phrases and eventually everyone around him would be saying it too. He always had a story to tell and he could captivate a roomful of people with his stories. And can we ever forget those Converse shoes, dorky shades, and his all time favorite shiny silk shirts!
Neal worked hard, played hard, but laughed with ease. He had that wonderful characteristic "knee-slapping" laugh that he inherited from his dad.
On his last day on this earth, Neal was doing what he enjoyed the most: riding, working cows, and being with friends.
The following are words taken from a poem written by Louis Hermanson.
When you left home and went away, we told you, you would be forever
in our hearts.
When that terrible day came for you to leave us forever, we hugged you
and kissed you and told you that you would be forever in our arms.
We love you Neal. We will miss you.
May you find comfort and peace in the arms of God.