Norman N. Mcneil Jr. of Stillman Road in North Stonington CT passed away at home following a long, courageous battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the care of his beloved Granddaughter Heather and the amazing nurses of The Center for Hospice Care.
Norman was born in New London CT On January 29, 1936. He was the first of three children to Christine M. Chiappone McNeil and Norman N. McNeil Sr. As a young man he helped his father who was a lobster-man on the boats, and he spent his spare time, as he always said, “getting in trouble”. He was a good soul with a rebellious streak in his youth and he turned in to quite the gear head, but once he graduated High School, he went on to enlist in the Air Force. Norm was in Japan during the Korean war loading missiles into airplanes. He was very proud to have served his country and spoke of his time in Formosa Japan often. He played football for many years in High School and in the Air Force, eventually causing him to need a knee replacement later in life. His family always meant a lot to him and he was incredibly close to his mother up until 2006 when she passed away in her mid-nineties. In the 60s he met a woman named Jeanette D. Gross and the whirlwind romance they began eventually saw them married, and he helped her raise three children. They also raised a granddaughter together. That granddaughter would go on to be a very big part of Norms life going forward. Norm and Jan were married for many years, split up, and ended up back together in their twilight years and were so happy at the second chance they received. She unfortunately lost her battle with COPD on October 14, 2015. Their wishes were to be together for eternity and now, they can be.
Norm Was always involved in stock car racing in some capacity, he spent many years traveling to different racetracks within the local racing community. He spent a of of time throughout the 90s and 00’s at Spear Point Auto in Preston. He was a friend to many and always had words of wisdom or a kind word for a stranger. He worked for many years at EB and ran his Mobile Home business driving his big signature blue truck. In the early 90’s he and his wife even started a business together in Groton called JD’s Café. He paved roads through the 90s and went on to become an OSHA inspector for Konover, as well as a driver for Peter Pan Bussing. Norm always said how "you can tell the integrity of a man by his hand shake", and he swore by that. He raised his granddaughter by himself after he and Jan split up and got her through high school, one of his proudest moments. He and Heather were thick as thieves all through her life, and she was right there with him until the very end. When he lost his wife in 2015 his cancer had come back for a third time and she moved in to help him through treatment and his later years. Since he had been there for her all through her life, she wanted to be there for him in return and that’s just what she did. They went to every doctor appointment together, making friends with the nurses in the Smilow Cancer Center who were wonderful and incredibly kind throughout his journey. Every day from the moment he lost his wife he stated how he hoped she saved a place for him in heaven. I can say with a confident degree of certainty that they have been reunited, and they will rest together in eternity.
He will be greatly missed by many family and friends. There are too many people who loved him to mention by name, more than I may even know. There will be a service held in the summer months, announcements will be made in advance in the local Day newspaper.