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Catherine Viberta Marie MACNEIL
1931 - 2020
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CATHERINE VIBERTA MARIE MACNEIL July 25, 1931 - August 27, 2020 With family by her side, Catherine Viberta Marie MacNeil passed away peacefully at her home, 'Brae Mhor', outside Brighton MI USA. Viberta MacNeil was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia to Mary Agnes (MacIntyre) and William Vibert MacLean of Port Hawkesbury, NS. At the age of 16, she attended Saint Francis Xavier University (B.Sc. '52) where, at that time, she was one of the few women enrolled in the science programme. While at St. F.X., she met her husband, fellow B.Sc. student, John Angus MacNeil of New Waterford, NS. They enjoyed 63 years of marriage and raised four children while residing in Oakville ON, Holden MA, and Brighton MI. Viberta is survived by her four children: William (Pamela) of Byron Bay NSW, Australia; John (Diana Larratt) of Toronto and Lake Temagami ON; Mary Patricia Harding (Blair) of Brighton MI; and Peter of Brighton MI; and by seven grandchildren: Michael (Berkeley CA), James (Sydney NSW, Australia), Laura (Toronto ON); Catherine and Carolyn Harding (Brighton); and Riley and James (Brighton). She is also survived by her brothers, Dr. Charles Bernard (Regina) MacLean (Inverness NS) and former mayor and MLA, William Joseph (Glenda) MacLean (Port Hawkesbury NS); her brother-in-law, The Hon. George Yates (Ancaster ON); and by her many MacLean, MacIntyre, Harris, MacNeil, Laffin and Birmingham nephews, nieces and cousins. She was predeceased by her husband, John Angus; her brother, Dr. Norman James MacLean and sister-in-law, Dorothy ('Toby') Tobin MacLean; her sister, Eileen MacLean Yates, QC; her niece, Barbara MacLean; her great-nephew, Paul Levy, and great-niece Susan MacLean; and her cousin, Hariett ('Jean') MacIntyre Harris. Though a patriotic (naturalised) American, Viberta was always proud of her Highland Scottish heritage, her Canadian Maritime roots and, above all, her Cape Breton kith and kin, long prominent in the social, economic and political life of the Island. With her husband John Angus, Viberta co-founded and served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Vortech Pharmaceuticals Limited of Dearborn MI, a company that enjoyed great success. A devout parishioner of St Patrick Catholic Church, a longtime member of Oak Pointe Country Club, a staunch supporter of her alma mater, St. F.X., and an absolute devotee of The New York Times crossword, 'Bert' was happiest when entertaining friends and family with John Angus at 'Brae Mhor'. As a couple, they were well-known figures in Ontario and Michigan horse racing circles, raising many successful standard-bred racing horses, including 'Rob Ron Sonny', 'Amherst Lou' and 'Savour the Memory'. Celebrated for her keen mind, quick wit, and boundless generosity, Viberta MacNeil will be greatly missed by her family, classmates, neighbours, Vortech employees, business colleagues, fellow horse enthusiasts, and many, many friends, particularly Ronda Golip (Brighton MI), Agnes Lawson (Halifax NS), Patricia Woodford (Baddeck NS), Joan Tracey (Birmingham MI), Grant Cregan (Montreal QC), Jeannette Strathy (Toronto ON), and Donald Rankin (Windsor ON). A funeral Mass and a memorial service will be held at a later date.

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Oct. 16 to Oct. 20, 2020.
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3 entries
October 17, 2020
I did not know Bert but heard what a wonderful lady she was.....a beautiful tribute to her in her obituary.
Graduated from St.F.X. in 1952....wow....she was certainly" ahead of her time"
My most sincere sympathy to her family and friends.
Ruth Skinner
Inverness,Cape Breton.
Ruth Skinner
Acquaintance
October 16, 2020
I am so sorry not meeting my cousin Catherine MacNeil whose Mom was our Aunt Agnes MacLean and we knew her brothers Dr. Jim, Dr. Bernie and Billy Joe and families. Perhaps we met when we were small. Sending sincerest sympathy to all the families. Aunt Agnes was like a grandmother to us as we did not meet our grandmother, Agnes' sister. RIP Catherine and God bless you all at this sad time.
Kay (MacMillan) Batherson & Matt Batherson
Family
October 16, 2020
Sorry to hear this news. I wonder if my mother, Catherine Gillis Boyd knew her. My mother is born in the same year, three months earlier in March. My Condolences to Family.
Jean Boyd
Acquaintance
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