On June 30 2021 Neil Edward Musilek passed away to the next step in his journey at the age of 56 years old.
Cause of death was due to premature damage to his heart, lungs and sarcoma commonly received from past mantle radiation treatments administered in 1987.
He was born on September 8, 1964 in Winner, SD to Carolyn Jean (Farris) Musilek, 77 and Lyle Edward Musilek who passed on Sept.23 2004 He grew up in Piedmont SD. He graduated high school from Sturgis, SD. He graduated from SD School of Mines and Technology at the top of his department’s class with a mining engineering degree in 1989.
Neil had a deep curiosity for science, engineering and mathematics. His career in mining started as an engineering intern in 1986 and ended as a mining consultant upon his death. He worked in mining projects all over the USA and abroad in Canada and Mongolia where a variety of commodities were mined; including: coal, oilsands, phosphate, lithium, gold and gravel. He applied his curiosity to projects around the shop and yard engaging “head, hands and heart” in landscaping, gardening, woodworking, welding and machining.
Neil’s passion for the mountains, outdoors and travel took him far and wide. Beginning in his teens and carried throughout his life, he backpacked the Rocky Mountains in WY, MT, UT, ID and CO. He enjoyed technical rock climbing in the Needles, Devils Tower and crags in WY through college. He mountaineered in the Wind Rivers, the Tetons and Big Horns. He enjoyed backcountry and resort skiing in MT, BC, WY, CO ID and UT. He taught winter survival and led to groups to camp in snow caves. He floated 17 rivers by kayak, canoe or raft. He tramped 98 miles and sea kayaked over 100 miles in New Zealand. He traveled to nine countries. At home, he built two greenhouses, which fed his family and neighbors.
He loved practicing martial arts and earned belts in jiujitsu, kenpo, taekwondo, hapkido and judo. He earned a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and a 1st Degree Black Belt in Judo. He taught around 25 students in taekwondo, hapkido and judo in his dojo located in Etna, WY. He studied Asian philosophies deeply and passed that on to his students. He firmly believed the more a human being practiced martial arts with a lifestyle and mindful movement; the more peaceful, they become. His dojo was turned over into a private, non profit organization.
Neil is survived by his loving wife, Diane Fisher, his mother,Carolyn Musilek (John)his younger sisters, Holly OLLila(Dave) and Laura Gehner(Jeff), his daughter, August Musilek, his two stepsons, James Thayer(Kayla) and Josh Gilkey(Jess), and his grandchildren, Treyson and Diesel.
The Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 10th, 2021 at 1 pm at the Star Valley Community Center in Etna, Wyoming. Family will meet with friends 30 minutes prior.
All memorials will be donated to Star Valley Martial Arts Scholarship Fund.