Dr. Harvey Neufeldt
Dr. Harvey Neufeldt passed away early Tuesday morning, December 28, 2021, at the age of 85. Loving and devoted husband to Anne Wiens Neufeldt for 63 years, Harvey and Anne redefined the term soulmates. Harvey was an inspirational father for his three daughters, Beverly (Rick) Wagner, Sharon (Steve) Carter, and Ellen Neufeldt. His four grandchildren – Rich, Kelly, Ryan (Laura) and Leslie – brought him tremendous joy and pride, along with his recently welcomed great grandchildren, Hobie and Beckett.
A scholar and educator, Harvey was a lifelong student and critical thinker with a sharp and focused mind. He was a man of tremendous faith, integrity, kindness, friendship, and principle; but above all else he was a man of his family. The lessons, encouragement, inspiration, and love he provided his daughters are gifts which continue to be present in their personal and professional lives every day. Harvey was his daughters’ hero in the model of his patient and caring character and for all the ways he encouraged them to pursue their educational and personal dreams.
Harvey was born on August 27, 1936, in Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada. He attended Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he received a bachelor’s degree in theology and, most importantly, met the love of his life, Anne. Married in 1958, Harvey and Anne always treated their relationship as a true partnership for the good of their family. Their love and devotion to each other was the steady foundation upon which their family was built and nurtured.
After receiving his Ph.D. in history from Michigan State University, Harvey and his family moved to Cookeville, Tennessee, where he was a professor in the College of Education at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) for almost 40 years. During this time, Anne worked as an administrative assistant in the College of Engineering. Passionate about the transformative power of education, Harvey and Anne mentored and supported countless undergraduate and graduate students. Harvey took tremendous pride in seeing students thrive in their chosen studies and careers. He was not only highly regarded by his peers but also sought after by students.
Anne and Harvey called Cookeville, Tennessee, their home from 1970 to 2015 and were active members of First United Methodist Church in Cookeville. Dedicated and devoted to his faith, Harvey became a lay minister for two small Methodist churches in White County, Tennessee, for a decade. In 2015, Harvey and Anne moved to League City, Texas, to be close to their daughter, Sharon.
Harvey was always an avid researcher and co-authored many books which not only delved into subjects that helped shape his life but also those that were deeply important to him such educational equity, his Mennonite heritage, and Tennessee Tech University’s institutional history. In honor of TTU’s 75th anniversary in 1991, Harvey co-authored The Search for Identity: A History of Tennessee Technological University, 1915-1985 (Neufeldt & Dickinson, 1991).
Raised in the Mennonite Brethren Church, one his greatest passions after retirement was working with his cousins to chronicle the immigration and settlement of his Mennonite community, Yarrow, British Columbia. Under Harvey’s extraordinary supervision, the Yarrow Research Committee, a group of ten Mennonite scholars, produced five volumes.
Beloved by countless friends, colleagues and family members who miss him dearly, Harvey is also survived by his brother, Jerry Neufeldt, sister, Elfrieda Konrad (Abe), and a large extended family of cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Helen Neufeldt, and his older sister Irma Neufeldt Epp and sister-in-law Edith Neufeldt.
Together, we remember and celebrate his life as a tremendous man with a spirit that brought joy and love to so many. His legacy will live within us.
A celebration of Harvey’s life will be tentatively scheduled for spring 2022. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make a contribution in his memory to the Neufeldt Electrical Engineering Scholarship or the Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) Neufeldt Scholarship Endowment in the College of Education at TTU. Both of these funds reflect Harvey and Anne’s love of the TTU community and its educational mission to support lifelong student success. Checks may be made payable to the TTU Foundation and mailed to Tennessee Tech University, PO Box 1915, Cookeville, TN 38505, or online at www.tntech.edu/univadv/giving/online-giving.php. Or you may call 931-372-3055 or email email@example.com.
To view a photo montage, please click the link below:
My closest colleague and friend, Harvey Neufeldt, worked in partnership with me and others in guiding students who were pursuing careers as educators. He was an excellent scholar and teacher whose students were always challenged intellectually in his classroom and under his guidance. Personally Harvey was a mentor to me as I moved my thinking process from a very limited concept of religious thought to an open and inquisitive one. My life has been enriched academically, personally, and socially as a result of my close relationship with Harvey and Anne.
Deepest condolences to Sharon and the entire Neufeldt family.
I’m teary eyed right now to learn that my dear friend and colleague….and co author and researcher on several articles…Harvey Neufeldt.. H. G. when I was trying to be clever…has crossed River Jordan. Harvey was a the complete, total package of what a human should be. Hard working, committed to social justice, a tolerant believer in his Lord and Saviour, devoted scholar, family man, and friend. Harvey’s hard work also showed that you didn’t need to work at an Ivy League or Power Conference university to do quality scholarship and establish a national and international reputation. RIP my dear friend and colleague Harvey G. Neufeldt!! 🙁
May your memories of your Dad help you get through the next while as you adjust to life without his physical presence. I appreciated reading about Harvey’s contributions to the educational system as well as the Church community. As a cousin, I experienced his kindness, gentleness and caring in conversations at Enns family gatherings. Our mothers were sisters, and Mom loved her older sister Helen, also a quiet, gentle person. Harvey and my Dad worked closely on the Yarrow project, a wonderful project for Harvey, some of his Enns cousins and childhood friends. HIs legacy seems large and will live on.
I am so sorry to hear about this! You are in our prayers! I loved Harvey and were friends for many years!
I am so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. My prayers are with all of you during these difficult times.
A good man that was wonderful to work with and work for. My thoughts and prayers for all the family.
I am very sorry to hear of Harvey’s passing. He was a dear man and I enjoyed our visits. My love, thoughts and prayers go out to Anne, Sharon, Beverly and all the family.
Dr. Neufeldt was my undergraduate advisor at TTU. He was one of the kindest, patient men I ever knew. He always had time for a green, country boy trying to adjust to the college environment. I don’t know if I would have made it without his honest, caring advice and counsel. My prayers for his family and may he rest in peace.
I remember him mostly as a dad of friends and from church. Prayers up for all of you. Hugs.
Our deepest condolences to you, Anne, and the girls. What a loss! To us, Harvey was more than a friend, he was a fantastic person. How lucky we were to have him in our lives. Words cannot express what we feel..A deep personal loss.
We will hold him in our hearts and minds for always
Dr. Neufeldt was my first professor at TTU in 1972. I had just finished a tour in Vietnam and was in need of direction. Being in his class helped in my adjustment more than he ever knew. I remain grateful. My prayers are with his family.
Dear Anne and family: Our sincerest condolences. Harvey and Anne, you “adopted Bob and I as Canadian grad students”. No professor was kinder and more thoughtful in all our years of study. We have corresponded with you Anne and Harvey for over 40 years . We shall miss him. As we read the very nice obituary we learned many things about your lives we didn’t know. One thing we did know he was a very proud Canadian who maintained his love for his birth country as well as his forever home the USA. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time.
Bob and Gail Muir ,Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Keith and I are greatly saddened by the loss of Harvey. We are thankful to have been able to know him and be a part of his life. Prayers to the family.
Dear Neufeldt Family: We are saddened to hear about Harvey’s death. He was a kind and caring man, husband, and father. We know that you will miss him terribly and hope you will find comfort in all of your warm memories. We will hold you in our hearts and in our prayers.
Dearest Anne, (and girls )
How we have missed you all since you have moved from Cookeville. May God’s comfort and peace surround you in these days. My folks loved you both dearly and felt that Canadian/ Mennonite connection. Gene and I remember those wonderful Christmas dinner/ sing a longs with such joy and happiness in our hearts.
Your memories and love will linger on in our hearts.
Gene and Marcia ( Diemer ) Mullins
and the Diemer family.
My deepest condolences to Ellen and the Neufeldt Family. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Dr. Harvey Neufeldt’s rich legacy of faith, love, scholarship and service will never be forgotten.
We are sad to learn of Harvey’s passing and we send our regrets to Ellen and her family. We were fortunate to have known Harvey and enjoyed our many conversations in person and through Facebook. RIP Harvey.
My condolences to Anne, Beverly, Sharon, Ellen and all the family. The obituary captures the spirit of Harvey’s life and what he has passed on to family and those he came in contact with throughout his life. I remember his dedication to his vocation and his concern for the well being of others. I have missed the wonderful coffee times on his way through Ontario for years but now remember fondly the exchanges with wide ranging topics. May good memories bring peace.
I had the pleasure of being in more than one course taught by Dr. Neufeldt at TTU. He was an inspiration to me as a professor and later as a colleague when I returned to teach math at TTU. After he retired I enjoyed his company at the fitness center located on campus. He never failed to ask me how things were going with my career. I was very blessed to know him. Prayers for his family.
To Ellen and your family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad was one of my professors in my graduate program in the College of Education at Tennessee Tech. He was then and still is a favorite to me. He modeled respect for others; he taught with an expectation of excellent work in return; and always, he greeted people with that warm, genuine smile! I am thankful to have known him. May your memories and those expressed in these messages comfort your hearts. Praying for your family.
I am so sad to learn of Dr. Neufeldt’s passing. He was an amazing professor and a true inspiration to me and many other students.
Jeannie Honey Proctor
Class of 1977 and M.A. 1979
I was privileged to chair the Department of Secondary Education and Foundations for seven years (1977-84) at Tennessee Tech and call Harvey a colleague and good friend. He was a dedicated academic advisor, scholar and gifted teacher.
Dr. Neufeldt became my Tennessee Tech graduate advisor when Dr. Sylvester Kohut moved to Pennsylvania’s Kurztown University. My goal was to write a thesis that would preserve the stories of a small Tennessee county, its schools, and it’s dedicated educators. These Van Buren County schools were where my Mother had studied and later taught. Dr. Neufeldt directed my thesis writing toward excellence. He once said, “This is already good, but we can make it better. We’re going to do it the Michigan State University way!” And, with his patience, assistance, and pushing me forward, I believe that we reached his goal and mine. Thank God for inspiring teachers like Harvey Neufeldt. – Larry C. Boyd, M.A. from Tennessee Tech, 1987, McMinnville, TN.