Pine County deputy Ben Neel, 37, dies after stroke

The 16-year veteran of the sheriff's office passed away Wednesday.
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Ben Neel

Law enforcement agencies in Minnesota are mourning the death of Pine County deputy Ben Neel, who died Wednesday night at the age of 37. 

Neel, a 16-year veteran with the Pine County Sheriff's Office, suffered a seizure in late October while hunting, leading to the discovery of brain tumors. Earlier this month, Neel's condition worsened after suffering a massive brain stem stroke as a complication from surgery. 

Neel's wife, Jennifer, announced his death on the Ben Neel Family Facebook page: "I love you till my last breath, my soul mate, my heart, my guardian angel," she wrote. 

A motorcycle-led procession brought Neel from the Twin Cities to Pine County on Thursday. 

"To say our office is sad is an understatement," the Pine County Sheriff's Office posted to social media. "Deputy Neel was a great deputy and man overall. He was everyone's best friend. This isn't goodbye, we will see you again. We love you Benny."

Neel is a father of four children, William, Owen, Gabriel and Hunter, and Jennifer is also an employee of the sheriff's office. He most recently worked as a K-9 officer, with a GoFundMe for his family describing his relationship with Chewy as "inseparable." 

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He is graduate of Hinckley-Finlayson High School, and attended law enforcement school at Hibbing Community College.

You can find the family's GoFundMe here, otherwise donations to the Neel family can be made at Frandsen Bank and Trust in Pine City:

Frandsen Bank and Trust
Neel Family Fund
560 3rd Ave SE
Pine City, MN 55063

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