Conneautville, PA, lost a pillar of their community as Walter Neil McBride Sr., age 97, passed away peacefully, at the Meadville Medical Center on Saturday, December 30, 2017. Known throughout his life as Neil; he passed witnessed by loving family and lifelong friends at his bedside.
Born to Casper Jacob and Aletha (Kearney) McBride, on November 20, 1920, Neil is preceded in death by five siblings.
During WWII Neil married Ann Ellen (Coughlin) on September 10, 1943. Within his immediate family, Neil is preceded in death by his daughter Bridget, his son W. Neil Jr. and his wife Ann E. as well as two grandchildren Annie Kathleen and Nick.
A devoted family man Neil and his wife raised eight children, Neil Jr. (Skip), Danny (Jean), Bridget Mahoney (George), Maureen Russakoff (Richard), Timothy (Emma), Kevin (Shelley), Sheila Mahoney (Martin), and Shawn, who in turn gave the couple 19 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and five great, great-grand-children.
An active alumnus Neil graduated from Conneaut Valley High School in 1938. A lifelong devout Catholic, Neil was a member of the St. Peter Parish.
He attended and played freshman football at the University of Oklahoma. Neil served as a quartermaster in the Navy, during World War II.
In his early 90's he decided to write his memoirs of these years and authored the book "When in All Ways Ready for Sea." After WWII earned his Agricultural degree from Pennsylvania State University, through the GI Bill.
Neil subsequently taught Agricultural Economics in the WWII Veterans Program and worked for Matheson Corporation.
During the decade of the 1960s, Neil worked for The Planet Corporation, located in Lansing, Michigan, serving as a Project Director in Contracts Management.
Returning from Lansing in the 1970's Neil exercised his entrepreneurial expertise as owner of Valley Builders Supply, for a decade.
Neil held several U.S. patents for his innovations in the field of Automated Mobile Panelized Building Systems.
A civic-minded person his community involvement included being a member of the School Board, the Conneautville Planning Commission, and the water zoning board, Lion's Club.
He pursued and won a grant for what would become the Washington Street Apartments, for Senior Citizens in Conneautville, and the Affordable Housing project in Springboro.
Because of his extraordinary memory, Neil a born raconteur, had a gift for telling detailed, extremely humorous jokes and stories, keeping his audience captivated and entertained.
He was in the classic sense a gentleman and a scholar Neil will be sorely missed by many close extended family members, from Meadville and Erie, PA as well as many lifelong friends.
Visiting hours at the McCauley Funeral Home located at Main Street, Conneautville, PA are Wednesday, January 3, 2018 from 2:00-4:00 P.M. in the afternoon and again from 6:00-8:00 P.M. in the evening.
A Funeral Mass with rite of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, January 4, 2018, at St. Peter's Catholic Church, The family is inviting extended family and friends of Neil to join us for a luncheon and wake in the adjacent church hall following the servies. Donations can be offered to St. Peter's Catholic Church, in Neil's name.
Online condolences can be left for the family at www.mccauleyfuneralhome.website
Published on January 1, 2018