Alvin's Story

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OWLS HEAD - Alvin S. McNeilly, 93, died Thursday, June 19, 2014, at PenBay Medical Center, following a brief illness. Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, June 8, 1921, he was the son of Matthew S. and Doris Hurd McNeilly.

He continued his secondary education at the University of Maine Orono, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, as well as treasurer and vice president of the Class of 1944. He was involved with his classmates as a Sophomore Owl and Senior Skull. He graduated in 1947 having earned a degree in chemical engineering, after his education was interrupted by service in the Army Air Corps during World War II. An accomplished and studied baseball player, Al served as Captain of the 1944 University of Maine Black Bears Baseball Team. He later played in the Northern League with the St. Johnsbury Yankees and the Portland Pilots. He was a proud member of the State of Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.

Since graduating from the University of Maine, Al has been a staunch supporter of that institution and served several years as President of the General Alumni Association, and was a past president of the University of Maine Development Council. Entering the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, Al served as a First Lieutenant Navigator on a B-29, with the 19th Bombardment Group, flying more than 30 missions over Japan. He was awarded three Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Returning from his military service, in 1947, Al was offered a contract with the Boston Red Sox, but chose his wife and family over a sports career. Throughout his first career, AL served as an executive officer with Exxon USA, in the Industrial and Consumer Business Division. After retiring from the corporate world, he embarked on his second career as a self-employed lobsterman. He fished out of his beloved Owls Head harbor, and was proud to say he still hauled traps by hand. He was active in many area organizations including the Owls Head Transportation Museum, where he was a member and past treasurer; past treasurer of Knox Lodge of Masons in South Thomaston; past Board Member and Treasurer of Penobscot Bay Medical Center; and a member of the Rockland Kiwanis Club. He served on the Blue Ribbon Committee for the Knox Center for Long Term Care in Rockland.

Al was predeceased by his first wife and the mother of his children, Jennie Bridges McNeilly in 1983; one son, Alvin H. McNeilly in 1993; a grandson, Justin R. McNeilly in 2012; and his brother, Matthew S. McNeilly in January of this year. He is survived by his children and spouses, Marc T. and Launa McNeilly, Joan M. and William Doherty, Jill McNeilly and David Speidel, Susan McNeilly, all of Owls Head; sister, Jacqueline and her husband, Dr. Jackson Freese of Naples, FL; sister-in-law, Carole McNeilly of Lakewood, CO; grandchildren, Joshua McNeilly, Jennie Greene, Maggie McNeilly, Ashley McNeilly, Jose Cordero, Katie McNeilly, Alvin M.H. 'Al' McNeilly, Michael Arsenault, Megan Stilwell; stepchildren, Sarah Morris, Samuel Johnson; stepgrandchildren, Douglas Townsend, Melissa Carter, Jason Townsend, Kaiya Levine, Tarina Speidel, Thomas Speidel, Ian Doherty, and Eben Doherty; nine great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit from 5-7 p.m. Monday, June 23rd at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. A celebration of Al's life will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St. The Reverend Seth D. Jones will officiate. Memorial donations may be made to the Bob Gagnon Cancer Care Fund, c/o PenBay Healthcare, 22 White St., Rockland, ME 04841. To share a memory or story with Al's family, please visit his Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.
Published on  June 21, 2014
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