Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Robert Franklin "Bob" McNeil

Robert (Bob) Franklin McNeil, age 85, 200 Fagan Rd., Johnson City, passed away Monday, December 21, 2009 in Johnson City Medical Center Hospital following an extended illness. He was a native of Butler, TN and a son of the late Wesley and Mae White McNeil. Mr. McNeil was a member of the Cedar Grove Baptist Church and retired from Texas Instruments. He played in the semi-professional baseball leagues in Tennessee and South Carolina as a pitcher. Mr. McNeil was a member of the Unicoi Masonic Lodge # 681 F&AM and Jericho Shrine Temple.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers: Jessie McNeil and Paul McNeil.

Mr. McNeil is survived by his wife Juanita Buchanan McNeil, three daughters and two sons-in-law: Marqita and Keith Tittle, Unicoi, TN, Letta McNeil, Elizabethton, Margaret and Harrison Bradley, Bristol, TN, three sons and daughters-in-law: Ricky and Vickie Buchanan, Unicoi, Steven and Betty McNeil, Butler, Spencer Jim and Becky McNeil, North, Virginia, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, three brothers and sisters-in-law: Fred and Betty McNeil, Hampton, Spencer and Louise McNeil, Otis and Maude McNeil, all of Elizabethton, two sisters and one brother-in-law: Roxie Reece, Zionville, NC, Nancy and Jim Murray, Hampton and two special friends, Jim Murray and Bob Bennett.

The funeral service for Mr. McNeil will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, December 24th at the Tetrick Funeral Home with Rev. Maurice Quillen and Rev. Bill McDaniel officiating. Music will be under the direction of Patricia Vines. Interment will follow in the Roselawn Memory Gardens, Johnson City. Active pallbearers will be Jim Murray, Steve McNeil, Bob Bennett, Keith Tittle, Jake Tittle, Wesley Murray, Barry Bennett and Ricky Buchanan. Honorary pallbearers will be men of Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Jack Tipton, Jack Murray, Gene Woodward, Bill Standley and Luther Goodman.

Frank or "Pepsi" as my grandma Oliver always called him was not related to me yet, he had a profound affect on my life.  He was my Momma's first husband.  The father of the only siblings I've ever known...a part of my families family.  He always had a smile for me...I have pictures of him holding Emily and marveling at her.  He always opened his home to me and I felt comfortable there.  Yet, their family has suffered immeasurable hurts that continue to affect the generations after them because of the circumstances of this divorce.  
It had recently occured to me that if he and Moma (Evelyn) had stayed married...if all had been well and there had been no divorce in a time when divorce held quite a stigma...my life would have been quite different.  She would not have been where she was (next door when I was being abused) when she was to be my "rescuer"...she would not have become my Moma...
God works all the time to bring good to those who love Him and He is sovereign...

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