On Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 at approximately 1:00 am, Sean Michael Neil passed peacefully into eternity after an unexpected fall.
Sean was born in Munster, Indiana on August 15th, 1980 to Brian and Joanne Neil. He was a happy child who loved playing with his cousins, drawing, video games and all things technological. He was especially close to his mima, Norma, and pimpa, Jack, who took him to Sparkies at her local church for several years and Sean professed his faith during that time.
In 1992, the family moved to the Elkhart area. Sean didn't take the move well, but quickly made friends, excelled in school, and was well liked by his teachers. He developed a love for heavy metal music that continued into his adulthood and continued to be fascinated by computers and anything to do with information technology. In 1997, he met his wife Heather (Kauffman) and asked her to marry him before they even graduated high school.
After graduation, Sean attended DeVry University to study Information Technology. After deciding to come home in 1999, he took a job with Electronics Boutique and was eventually promoted to store manager in 2000. He and Heather married on July 20th of 2000 and moved to Bloomington so Sean could open his own store there. In 2001 Sean and Heather moved back to Elkhart and Sean took a job with Computer Renaissance as a bench tech. After 3 years working there, he then moved on to a job with the Housing Authority of South Bend. It was there that Sean gained a love of helping other people and "fighting for the little guy". He soon joined the Occupy South Bend movement and was instrumental in drawing attention to corruption in the public sector. Sean had a passion for politics and followed all political races closely while writing his Congressmen regularly regarding issues that he was concerned about.
During this time, Sean and Heather welcomed their first child, Ronan, into the family after building a house in 2005. Sean was an attentive, loving father who taught Ronan all about video games and instilled a love of learning in him through science, math and music. In 2012, they welcomed a daughter, Saoirse into the family. She became a true daddy's girl and could often be found on a Saturday morning snuggling and having a "lazy day".
In 2015 Sean changed jobs to be with Communication Company of South Bend where he increased his knowledge of systems and performed tasks of increased responsibility. He was well loved by his coworkers and worked tirelessly programming nurse call systems while traveling and still taking care of his family. In 2017 he suffered a vicious road rage attack that placed him in ICU for about a week. His recovery from this was listed as a “miracle”, but unfortunately, he was forever changed.
He was an avid Blackhawks fan and could be found watching every game, no matter how late, with a bowl of popcorn and "his" cat, Penelope. He was an encourager, a dreamer, a leader, a debater, and more important, he was a kind soul.
Sean is survived by his wife, Heather and their two children Ronan John-Ledger and Saoirse Ivy. He is also survived by his parents, Brian and Joanne, his grandmother, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. His passing was peaceful and his grandfather John, grandmother Norma, in-laws Jim and Debi and his uncle Doug were no doubt all waiting to greet him with love. He will be missed.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Sean at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at Trinity on Jackson Church 2715 E. Jackson Blvd. Elkhart, IN. Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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