Born on November 20, 1937 to Mabel (nee Sheer) and Dr. Robert J. McNeill, Jr. in Philadelphia. “Bob” was a proud husband, father, and grandfather, as well as Germantown Academy alumnus, Wharton student, “Bay Boy,” U.S. Marine, and successful businessman. Bob died on January 7th in Philadelphia while surrounded by his loved ones.
Bob would not want grandiose parlance and egotistically charged adulations; rather, he would prefer an intimate setting of friends, family, “high tides”, and High Hopes. To that end, his numerous accomplishments and accolades can not adequately be expressed in this medium. Yet for the sake of posterity, some of these include:
A litany of sailing related recognitions, cups and championships from the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor, Mid-Atlantic Racing Association, and U.S. Sailing.
U.S. Marine Corps infantryman.
Marrying “the prettiest girl in Stone Harbor,” Ellen Gowen. An early demonstration of his proclivity for salesmanship as he distinguished himself as the first Protestant to marry into the Gowen family.
Serving as the President of Crescent Box Corporation until his death. Bob guided the company through economic recessions, the changing dynamics of the southeastern Pennsylvania economy, nine U.S. Presidents, and the recent hire of the third generation of McNeills to work for Crescent Box.
Bob had a strong connection to the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor, and other than two years serving in the Marine Corps, spent part or all of every summer of his life in Stone Harbor. Bob’s grandfather was one of the original signers of incorporation of the yacht club in 1929. Bob started sailing competitively at age ten and continued to do so through last summer - even winning first place Memorial Day Weekend. He served as Commodore in 1984, on the Board of Trustees, and was the club sailing champion, twice. The upstairs bar, appropriately named “The High Tide Room,” is named in Bob’s honor.
In addition to these and the multitude of accomplishments that cannot be enumerated here, Bob will always be remembered lovingly for his iconic, reoccurring, and oft impersonated witticisms, including:
The old man in the tree must’ve done it.
I’ve been going since 6:30 this morning.
All As and Bs, right?
It's on my list.
How ‘bout those Phils?
Did we get ‘em?
We did it, old boy!
You’re a devil, just like Ronnie.
You’re some tulip, Ello.
Bob was the embodiment of a gentleman. He is survived by his wife, Ellen (nee Gowen), sister Carolyn Manwaring (McNeill), children Jane McNeill George (Von), Robert J. McNeill, IV (Jennifer), and Susan McNeill (Rick Boyle), grandchildren Reid George (Brandi), Ellen George, Anthony George (Katie), Bobby George (Elizabeth), Robert J. McNeill, V (Elena), and Thomas McNeill (Kristina), great-grandson Logan George, as well as many devoted nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law George (Paula) and Thomas Gowen. Bob’s brother, Ronnie McNeill (Joyce), and sister-in-law, Bonnie Gowen, predeceased him.
Bob’s Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, January 12 at 11:00 am at Saint Basil the Great Church. 2330 Kimberton Rd, Phoenixville.
The Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 12 from 9:30-11am at the church before the funeral.
The internment will be held privately.
Gifts in his memory can be made to Germantown Academy (340 Morris Road, Fort Washington, PA 19034) All contributions will be directed to provide tuition support for qualified families.