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Obituary: Neil Erskine |  TahoeDailyTribune.com

Obituary: Neil Erskine | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Obituary: Neil Erskine |  TahoeDailyTribune.com

Neil Erskine
Photo provided

October 7, 1932 – June 4, 2024

Neil Harlow Erskine, 91, of South Lake Tahoe, passed away peacefully on June 4, 2024, surrounded by his family.
Neil was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to Neil and Ruth Erskine, and as a young man moved with his family to Oakland, California before making South Lake Tahoe his forever home. Neil is survived by his loving wife, Fern, with whom he just celebrated his 67th wedding anniversary on May 18.
Neil joined the United States Navy at 18, serving as a gunner on a Grumman TBM Avenger and in a casualty crew. He then went on to wear many hats, including becoming a firefighter for the US Forest Service, a logger, and a truck driver making deliveries around the Tahoe area for many years, which helped him gain knowledge of the people and the region . During his formative years, Neil also joined a fraternity of young men calling themselves “UA”, which led to lifelong friendships.
Neil and his girlfriend, as he affectionately called her Fern, moved to South Lake Tahoe in June of 1964 and built one of the first homes on their driveway. Neil loved the life he created with his wife at the lake. Together they had two children, Kelly Dewey (Tim) and Jim Erskine (Janet), as well as two grandchildren; Scott Dewey (Shannon) and Jessica Dewey. Neil loved nothing more than having his family at home playing horseshoes in the backyard, letting the dogs run free and challenging everyone to their favorite game of dice. Neil also created many unforgettable memories with his wife and grown children, taking cruises and traveling to different countries around the world.
As a staunch Tahoe local and military veteran who was proud of his Scottish heritage, Neil always had stories to tell about his life well lived. During conversations, he would regularly interject with a witty comeback or share an inappropriate joke; he never failed to make people smile. He was also inclined to offer you a drink the first time you walked through his door, no matter the time of day.
A true outdoorsman, you can usually find Neil hiking, running and boating around the lake. But he spent most of his time on his bike, logging tens of thousands of miles on the bike paths around South Lake Tahoe. He found joy in stopping for a beer at Camp Richardson after a long walk, waving to people as they passed. Neil even earned the nickname “cookie man” because that’s who he was to his four-legged companions on the trails. He never left home without treats in his pocket, knowing he would meet one of his furry friends.
Neil’s compassion for others extended into the community he helped establish and nurture for six decades. He gave back to his neighbors and local businesses through acts of kindness, dog sitting, mail collection, referrals and more. Whether at a local restaurant, bike shop, bar or grocery store, Neil was bound to cross paths with someone he knew. Neil was everyone’s friend and everyone’s neighbor. His presence was undeniable.
Neil had a deep appreciation for nature, a kindness and respect for animals and loved the natural beauty of the place he called home. The lake, the mountains, the beaches and the bike trails are where Neil felt most at peace and he often proclaimed that there was nowhere else he would rather be.