Cover photo for John Charles MacNeil's Obituary
John Charles MacNeil Profile Photo

John Charles MacNeil

August 21, 1950 — December 23, 2023

Sydney

John Charles MacNeil

In loving remembrance, we announce the loss of our father, a true gentleman, John Charles Mac Neil, 73, of Sydney on December 23rd, 2023 at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, surrounded by his family. 

Dad will lovingly be remembered as a kind and considerate man who appreciated life’s simple pleasures; the beauty of nature, the company of family and true friends, great conversations and good food. He adored the backyard birds who treated him to their beautiful colors and song every morning in exchange for an endless supply of birdseed. 

Born August 21st, 1950 and raised in New Waterford, in his youth John enjoyed spending time outdoors with his brothers and uncles, fishing and hunting. He moved to London, Ontario in the 1960’s for a change of scenery and sought work as a bus boy in one of the hotels downtown. Dressed in suit and tie to submit resumes, he and his brother Gary were hired on the spot. Dad often told stories of how much he enjoyed his time in London, yet how it guided him home to build a life in Cape Breton.  

John enjoyed tinkering in the garage with his father. A critical thinker who enjoyed a good challenge, he took great pride in helping family and friends. When tackling a job in the garage, if a part didn’t exist John created it; welding and machining parts for projects big and small. He retired from the Sydney Steel Corporation where he tried his hand at many jobs on the plant, but found his true passion operating the scrapyard crane. John enjoyed telling stories of his time at Sydney Steel; when he got started you might as well put on another pot of tea because you would be there for a while. 

Through the years, John always gave his family his time and attention. Whether helping with homework or hobbies, he encouraged his children and supported their endeavors. As adults, he took an interest in his children’s lives and helped with any backyard projects he could.  As children, he took us for walks in the woods, where we would picnic beneath a spruce tree and pick mayflowers for mom on the way home. 

As told to us by mom, our parents love story began September 16th 1980. Mom was a good friend of John’s sister, Glenda. Dad reportedly found out where our mom lived and started showing up regularly.  Persistence paid off, they fell in love and were married March 6th 1981. It was a warm Spring day with snow melting and heat radiating from the pavement. Over the next 29 years they built a life they loved, a family they were proud of,and cherished each other until 2010 when mom passed away suddenly. A little piece of dad’s heart left him that day, and recent health issues proved too much for what remained.

John is survived by his daughters; Stephanie (Matt), Vanessa (Ryan), and son Andrew (Lindsay). Granddaughters; Chloe and Nora. Brothers; Lorne (Cheryl), Roger (Carol), Ross (Barbara), and sister Glenda (Hector ‘Brother’). Sisters-in-law; Diane (Colin), Pat (Art). Brothers-in-law; Rick (Valerie), Mike (Sherry) as well as many nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends.  

John was predeceased by his loving wife, Marie. His parents, John James and Rhodena. Parents in-law; John Joe and Marie. Brothers; Gary, Glenn, and a sister; Sandra. Brother-in-law; Bob, nephews Michael and Sean, dear friend Nick, as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Cremation has taken place. A gathering of family and friends will be held Friday December 29th 2023 between 12pm-2pm at McLellan Funeral Home, 3188 Plummer Avenue New Waterford. John will rest at Marie's side in Union Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please perform an act of kindness for someone in need. We’ll miss you Dad. When you see Mom, tell her we send our love.

You may post photos, share memories and express your words of comfort and condolence directly to the family by visiting the guestbook below.

 

 

 

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Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Friday, December 29, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Atlantic time)

A memorial gathering will be held in McLellan Funeral Home 3188 Plummer Ave, New Waterford for friends and family to gather and honour John's memory. All are welcome to attend.

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Interment

Friday, December 29, 2023

A private gathering of John's family will attend the interment service.

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