John Francis McNeilly

Published 1:10 am Tuesday, July 23, 2013

John Francis McNeilly, 95, of Cary passed away July 14, 2013, at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center in Wilmington, NC. He was born on December 12, 1917 in Lynn, Massachusetts to the late William J. and Mary J. McNeilly. He is also preceded in death by his wife Polly Anderson McNeilly, brother William McNeilly and sister Katherine Carraro. He is survived by his stepdaughter Cathy Oestreich of Washington, NC and stepson William Fisher, Jr. of West Memphis, Arkansas.

John grew up in Lynn Massachusetts and graduated from Lynn Classical High School in 1935. He enlisted in the Army as an aviation cadet in 1939 and retired from the US Air Force as a major in 1963. Upon retirement from the Air Force he worked at Gregory Poole Equipment in Raleigh and sold real estate for Mr. J. G. Poole, Sr. in MacGregor Downs.

He married the love of his life, Polly Babb Anderson, in 1968 and also became a founding member of the MacGregor Downs Country Club in that same year. An avid golfer, John enjoyed years of daily golf on the MacGregor course. Whether taking a walk or watching television, he could almost always be found with a golf club in hand.

John moved to Wilmington, NC in 2012 to be closer to family. There he spent a year in the loving care of Clare Bridge Assisted Living and his final days in the quiet peace of the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center. A man who rarely complained, John’s quick wit, warm smile, and loving touch will be greatly missed by family and friends.

A private family ceremony will be held at a later date.

The staff of Coble Ward-Smith is honored to serve the family of John Francis McNeilly.