Elisabeth Burke Sands McNeil "Lizzie", 86, a 50-year resident of Annapolis and formerly of Alexandria, VA, Rocky Mount, NC and Hastings on the Hudson, NY died of natural causes at her home July 8 surrounded by her family. Born December 17, 1927 in New York, NY to the late Dr. Everett Foster Sands and Margaret Burke Sands, Mrs. McNeil graduated from Miss Master's School, Dobbs Ferry, NY and attended Parson's School of Design in New York. She earned her LPN from Anne Arundel General Hospital's Nursing Program and subsequently worked as an LPN on Floor 6, where she was honored as Nurse of the Month numerous times. Later in life, Mrs. McNeil volunteered as a "Pink Lady" at Anne Arundel General Hospital for over ten years. Mrs. McNeil and her husband bred nationally exhibited show dogs. Under the Barra prefix, she owned and showed over 40 national champion Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs. Her most renowned Boston Terrier was Champion Barra's Highland Lassie "Sara"; Sara won the nationals three times, Westminster three times, and retired every perpetual trophy from the Boston Terrier Club of America. Mrs. McNeil played in the Bell Choir at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and was a member of St. Anne's Episcopal Church. For decades, Mr. and Mrs. McNeil participated in the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Sponsor Program. For the majority of her married life, Mrs. McNeil was the bowman for her family racing boat. She was a knitter and artist. Mrs. McNeil was a member of the Garden Club of Historic Annapolis, the Annapolis Yacht Club, and the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake. Mrs. McNeil is survived by her husband, Roderick Clan Ranald McNeil, whom she married September 17, 1949 in Greenburgh, NY; two sons, Roderick Clan Ranald McNeil and Kevin Sands McNeil, both of Annapolis; daughter, Jean Sands McNeil Yellott of Monkton; son-in-law, Kinloch Nelson Yellott, III of Monkton; daughter-in-law, Amanda Bruch McNeil of Annapolis; six grandchildren, Kinloch Nelson Yellott IV, Katherine Renee McNeil Francella, Margaret McNeil Yellott, Matthew Lawrence Ogden, Lily Rebecca McNeil, and Caroline Stewart McNeil; and grandchild-in-law, John Raymond Francella, III. A celebration of life will be held at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, September 4, at St. Anne's Episcopal Church with reception to follow at the Annapolis Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made the the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, 1815 Bay Ridge Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403. Online condolences may be made to www.johnmtaylorfuneralhome.com
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Published in The Capital on July 18, 2014