William 'Billy' McNeil
Born In: Glace Bay
Born: November 12th, 1955
Passed on: January 16th, 2013
“Billy you always said that family was most important. Today we are grief stricken because we lost one of our best.”
It is with great sadness that we, the family of Billy McNeil, announce his passing at the young age of 57, on Jan. 17, 2013. Billy was a loving father, grandfather, brother, nephew and friend. Billy died peacefully at the Glace Bay Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
Born on Nov. 12, 1955, in Glace Bay, Billy was the son of the late Judy (Donovan) and Leo McNeil.
Billy is survived by his best friend, Debbie and their children, Krista (Robert), Kerri (David) and Katelyn, at home, and David, Fort McMurray, Alta. Billy is survived by his grandson, Poppy’s boy, his pride and joy, Riely Joe. Billy is also survived by his brothers, Allie (Bonnie), Tony (Sandra), Blair (Helen), Ontario, brother and best friend, Paul (Debbie); sister, Lee. He is survived by his special uncle, Andrew (Isabel) and uncle, James (Mary); brother-in-law, David (Carol Ann); sister-in-law, Donna Marie; daughter at heart, Lindsay Leslie and her family Artem and Luka; and son at heart, Stephen Murphy; very close friend, Kevin Devison. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, cousins, associates and friends.
Billy started his plumbing trade in 1973 at the Cape Breton Vocational School. He started his career with Owen Lewis Plumbing. He completed his journeyman’s in 1975 and began his own business with the help of, Owen. He was always grateful for the start that Owen gave to him. Billy opened his own business WJ McNeil Plumbing and Heating which he continued to operate up until the time of his death with the help of his brother Paul. Billy took great pride in his business and was very thankful for his customers and associates, many of whom became great friends.
During Billy’s lifetime, he was very active in his community. Billy was a member of the Knights of Columbus of Glace Bay and a member of Holy Family Church in MacKay’s Corner. Billy formerly served for many years on the parish council. He was also a former Eucharistic minister and reader for the parish. He was very active in squash and golf, until an injury prevented him from participating. He always bragged that Terry Shannon could not keep up with him in squash. He golfed out of Lingan Golf Club and would often travel to Florida to play as well. He was an active member of the Radio Club and participated in both its pool and darts leagues. He also supported several sports organizations and teams within Glace Bay, including the “WJ McNeil’s Devils” softball team. He was a generous contributor to many charities and benefits.
Billy was always about his family and friends. He loved to spend time out on the Mira on his boats, “Plumber’s Dream” and “A Little Bigger” entertaining them. He was kind and generous and helped out many people in his lifetime. He would not see anyone in need go without. He loved a good joke and loved to sing the blues while playing his harmonica. Billy loved to throw parties surrounded by his family and friends and he was the life of every party. Billy enjoyed trips down south with his children, who meant the world to him.
Billy was predeceased by his parents, Judy (Donovan) and Leo McNeil, sister, Catherine in infancy, grandmother, Theresa (Turnbull) Donovan, mother-in-law, Norma Livingstone and dear friend, Connie Leslie-Bent.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Curry’s Funeral Home, 775 Main St., Glace Bay. Visitation for Billy will take place Sunday, Jan. 20 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The Knights of Columbus will meet at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, for prayers. Funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, at St. Joseph Church, Reserve Mines, with a light lunch to follow. Family and friends will then gather at the family home, 382 Reserve St., Glace Bay.
Memorial donations may be made in Billy’s memory to the Children’s Wish Foundation, as Billy was a big supporter of children’s charities.
The family would like to give considerable thanks to Billy’s brother, Paul, who has taken care of everything from his business to his family in these last few months. With his support and love he has helped us so much through this difficult time. “You were always there for him.”
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.jmcurryfuneralhome.com.
“Billy/dad, you may be gone from us now, but, the memories you have given us will last us a lifetime. We love you”.