Obituary of Dr. Charles Wyndham MacNeil
Dr. Charles Wyndham “Chuck” MacNeil, December 2, 1944 – June 18, 2022, son of the late Edgar and Betty MacNeil of Pine Tree, he is survived by his wife, Betty (nee Fleming), children, Timothy (Tracy), Angela (Alex Benitah), David (Mary Beth), Andrew (Adrienne), grandchildren, Mitchell, Sarah, Angus, Erin, Zoe, Grady and Claire, and sisters Marjorie (late Joe Mitchell) and Nina (Haylett Clarke), brother-in-law Chet Fleming (Edna Fraser), sister-in-law Berta (Alan Kaiser), and several nieces and nephews.
As per directions, there will not be a visitation or service. Cremation has taken place, and there will be a private family dispersal of ashes at a later date. And if we were following Chuck’s directions to the letter, that would be the end of his obituary... That was it, as prepared by him, and included in the package of directions to be followed in this eventuality. As was his nature, he did not want there to be a fuss. But we, his family, had a little more we wanted to say. We hope he won’t be too upset that we didn’t listen just this one time.
A graduate of Mount Allison University and Dalhousie University Medical School, Chuck met his wife Betty while she was a nurse, and he was an intern at the Halifax Infirmary. He was a fiercely proud Nova Scotian. Engrained with a strong work ethic, he served his Province and its communities as a medical doctor, a municipal councillor, and a Member of the Legislative Assembly, and held Ministerial portfolios in Lands and Forests, Mines and Energy, and Finance. A well-respected family doctor and community leader, he was much loved by his patients during his lengthy tenure in each of Yarmouth and Sherbrooke.
Following his time in medicine and politics in Nova Scotia, Chuck moved on to fulfill a lifelong passion to experience the Canadian North. He continued his work as a medical doctor and travelled extensively in the region, with the communities of Inuvik and Fort McPherson holding a special place in his heart. Over the course of his long and varied career, he acted as a mentor and a father-figure to many. While their names are too many to mention, he made many friendships that would last a lifetime. In his spare time, Chuck was an avid designer, with a keen eye for decorating, even winning a provincial award for his design of their family home in Sherbrooke. He also loved auctions and antiques, and many a renovation project.
While he hung his hat in many communities during his lifetime, there was no place he would rather be than at his cottage in Black Point. On “the hill” with his extended family and friends, summer holidays together were the best. Whether it was a trip to the channel – with as many people, dogs and grandkids as he could gather – or a gathering for Happy Hour out on the deck, he cherished his time hosting family and friends in what was his sanctuary for more than 50 years.
For all his accomplishments, there is no doubt that, for him, his family was the greatest among them. His children and grandchildren brought him the greatest joy, and his love and devotion to each of them was immeasurable.
In addition to his humans, we would be remiss if we did not mention that Chuck is also survived by his faithful four-legged sidekick, Cooper. As his health declined, Cooper was “on duty”, keeping a watchful eye on his every move – he was (according to Chuck) the smartest dog ever.
Chuck passed away peacefully in the Palliative Care Unit of the Aberdeen Hospital, New Glasgow, following a brief illness. The family would like to thank the staff for their kind and compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Chuck’s memory may be made to the Pictou County Food Bank East or to the Viola’s Place Society.
He lived a good life, and the lives of others were better for having known him.