An Officer and a Gentleman
Born in New Waterford, Cape Breton, June 2, 1926
Middle child, 3rd sibling of 6
Grew up quickly, supporting the family homestead from age 5 after his father died in a mining accident
Dropped out of school to work in the coal mines at 13
Given his last rights at 14 after an accident in the mines
Lied about his age to join the Army as a Paratrooper at 16
Jumped out of his first airplane at 17
Went back to high school at 18, graduated at 22
Married at 23 (February 6, 1951) to his wife and best friend of 71 years, Dollie
Father to son Lorne at 24
RCAF Navigator and Flight Lieutenant at 26
Stationed in Nottingham, England at 29
Father to daughter Faye Lynn at 30
Met the Queen at 33
Graduated university at 40
Promoted to RCAF Captain at 41
Chairman at Fanshawe College at 45
Ran the Columbus Marathon at 65, finished 3rd in his age group. Qualified for the Boston Marathon (a knee injury stopped him from running)
Grandfather at 64 and again at 66
Made a legendary toast at both his granddaughters’ weddings at 90 and 93
Died peacefully at 95, with his wife by his side
He never stopped living life, it was a gift. He never saw age as a barrier, only a milestone. He always treated people with respect, because they mattered. He was a true partner and a role model to everyone who had the honour of loving him. We were all blessed to have him in our lives and now in our memories, forever.
Thank you for your service.
Son of Dan C and Ethel MacNeil
Brother of Dorothy, Danny, Art, Mary and Donny
Husband and partner of Charlotte (Dollie) McNeil. Married for 71 years
Father of Lorne and Faye Lynn
Grandfather of Lindsay and Karli
Great Grandfather of Owen, Emmett and Charlotte
Memorial will be held in London, and burial at Beechwood Cemetery (National Military Cemetery) in Vanier, Ottawa, both at dates to be determined. Please check back here for updated service information. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in memory of Francis are asked to consider Anova – A Future Without Violence.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Francis Xavier McNeil June 2 1926 March 17 2022..
Death notice for the town of: London, Province: Ontario