PORTLAND - Charles William "Chuck" McNeill, age 75, died Jan. 30, 2009, in Portland. The son of Dr. Marvell and Gertrude McNeill, he was born Nov. 14, 1933, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
He moved to Chicago as an young teenager where he aspired to play professional baseball and graduated from Tilden Technical Institute. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 until 1955 when he was honorably discharged.
He moved on to an active engineering career specializing in Carbide tool design and spent 17 years in Pennsylvania with Kennemetal as new products manager before moving to Los Angeles where he was president and general manager of Machinist Tool and Supply.
Retiring early, his dream was to be independent and have his own business, and Doupé Hardware in Ilwaco became his home. Shortly after purchasing the business in Ilwaco, economic conditions changed drastically, but he was one to persevere in adversity. With his creative mind he continually tried new options, from the Seafun Restaurant at the Port, the Beachhut in Long Beach, Seacrest Mall to his newest dream of McNel's Pub and Fire and Ice in Ilwaco.
Personal tragedy forever changed his life when he was hit by a drunk driver in the early '80s.
His strong opinion was never hard to determine. He followed his own course, was active in the merchants association, clear on his politics and faithful to God.
Determined to prevail, he went into surgery on Jan. 21 with a sign on the store that he would return in three weeks. Complications from surgery took his life unexpectedly on Friday afternoon, Jan. 30.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., on Feb. 6 at Pacific Bible Church above Black Lake in Ilwaco. In lieu of flowers contributions are suggested to the local American Cancer Society or MADD.
In a recent newspaper interview he was quoted as saying, "The reward is in the struggle. ..." This day his struggle is over, he is at peace with God and free from pain.