Posted: September 12, 2022 2:00 PM
Years ago, five squirrels were found making nests all over the garage of a house on Antler Pine in Newtown, Conn. They had recycled almost all of the paper in that space and made their own beds/nests, claiming each area as their own. Most would be frantic about it and call local animal control, though, although Neal Werner didn’t “encourage” it, he did. allowed for a while. She cared for and loved the wild animals she brought in from the local wildlife rescue as they grew strong and healthy enough to return to the forest and truly find their forever homes among the trees. This was the kind of woman Neal was: patient and caring with everyone around her, especially animals in need. She cats, dogs, squirrels, rabbits, rats, raccoons, opossums and any creature that needs care and love.
This wonderful woman, Neal Ann Werner, age 67, of Woodbury, Conn., passed away peacefully on August 16, 2022 at Watermark of East Hill.
Neal was born on March 10, 1955, the son of Robinson Richard Whiteside and Gail Shirley Huffaker Whiteside, in Evanston, Ill. He grew up in Darien, Conn.
Neal attended Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, earning a BA in Sociology from Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY, in 1977.
She worked as a homemaker, real estate agent, and caretaker, but her true passion was caring for her many pets, including Dougle, Mr Christian, Mo, Venus, Charlie, Snow, Honey, and Chloe, as well as the 12 orphans. squirrels adopted from the local animal sanctuary. She spent many years in Newtown raising her children and loving the nature that surrounded her home. She enjoyed long walks through the woods, keeping one eye open for a stray squirrel in need and the other searching passionately for arrowheads. At the end of the day, you might find her reading a quality book with a cat on her lap and a dog at her feet.
She was an avid outdoorsman, animal lover, arrowhead hunter, spiritual and meditative soul who will be sorely missed by all who loved her, and the infectious smile she wore so well.
Neal is survived by his children, Marnie Ellen Werner, William Edmund Werner IV, and Jennifer Rayburn Goodwin; his grandchildren, Karyssa and Alex Goodwin; and his brothers, Mark Whiteside and Paul Whiteside.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Robinson R. Whiteside and Gail S. Whiteside, along with her ex-husband, William Edmund Werner III.
There will be a private celebration of life for friends and family in honor of Neal.
Memorials or donations can be made to Whiskers Pet Rescue, 134 Main Street South, Southbury CT 06488.