Dr. Donald B. McNeill, age 89, died on Monday, June 2, 2014, at his residence. He was born in Erie on November 8, 1924, son of the late Dr. Charles A. and Margery Babbitt McNeill.
Dr. McNeill was a graduate of Haverford College and Hahnemann Medical College.
He served during World War II
and the Korean encounter, being discharged as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force
. Originally he was a Naval Officer, but was "loaned" to the Air Force at its inception, as a separate department. While serving as a physician at the National Air Force Base Hospital in Washington, D.C., a commercial flight ran off the runway at the National Airport into the Potomac River. At that time, the hospital had an up-to-date "Crash Ward." This was an emergency facility for a medical catastrophe, in order to get the passengers from the plane to the "Crash Ward," physicians and airmen went on the river in row boats and pulled them from the downed plane to recover them. So much for his heroic fifteen minutes of fame.
His post graduate training was at Children's Hospital, Buffalo General Hospital and Roswell Park Institute, all located in Buffalo, N.Y., and was a teaching assistant in Pathology at the Buffalo Medical School. He was an attending Obstetrician-Gynecologist at Hamot Medical Center from 1955-1986, St. Vincent Health Center from 1955-1978, and was active in the formation of the combined residency with the two hospitals. He was chief of the OB-GYN Department for ten years, and a member of the Executive Committee. He was also a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Dr. McNeill was active in United Way's Community Chest, March of Dimes, was a regular blood donor for the Blood Bank and the American Red Cross. In his retiring years, he resumed his playing of duplicate bridge and joined the Erie Bridge Club and the American Contract Bridge League. He was a life member of the Erie Maennerchor Club, and formerly a member of the University Club, Aviation Club and the Kahkwa Club.
While receiving lessons in playing the piano, trumpet and French horn, "his ability was so inadequate" (his quote) that he continued his love of music by collecting an extensive library of classical (from Bach to Bartok) and mainstream Jazz.
He was active in getting the doctor's bowling league started and volunteered as a guide at the new Blasco Library. He enjoyed golf and tennis. Don had a sharp mind, a quick wit, and was a devoted family man.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Charles R. McNeill and Dr. John R. McNeill.
He is survived by his wife, Amy Stephens McNeill, whom he married in 1949, three children, Kathleen M. Cameron and her husband Dr. Jeffery, Kim M. Reinhardt and her husband John, and David C. McNeill and his wife Denise. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Scott Cameron, Colleen Hunter, Dr. Bryant Cameron, Aileen Cameron and Daniel Reinhardt, five great-grandchildren Ashlyn, Liam and twin boys Camden and Caden Hunter and Leana Sophia Cameron.
Friends are invited to attend visitation at Burton Funeral Homes and Crematory, Inc., 602 West 10th Street, on Thursday from 4 p.m. until the time of service at 6 p.m., with Reverend Keith Sundberg officiating. Private burial will be at Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Great Lakes Hospice, 1700 Peach Street, Erie, PA 16501. Send condolences at www.Burtonfuneralhome.com
Published in the Erie Times-News from June 4 to June 5, 2014