Cover photo for James H. Mcneil's Obituary
James H. Mcneil Profile Photo
1934 James 2022

James H. Mcneil

May 21, 1934 — August 14, 2022

James H. McNeil Col. USAF (Ret.)



Jim McNeil was born to Herbert and Edna (Smith) McNeil on May 21, 1934 (along with his twin sister, Jane). He was raised with his 3 sisters in East Athens, PA. He was part of the Hall of Fame 1951 football team of Athens High School. He graduated in 1952 and in 1953 enlisted in the Air Force. He earned a commission as an officer and completed navigator training. In 1957 he married Mary Louise Collins of South Waverly (Sayre H.S. 1952). Of this union were born 3 children. In 1969 Jim served in Vietnam taking part in over 70 combat missions. He then received his first assignment to Strategic Air Command Headquarters in Nebraska where he was involved in negotiations to turn over Goose Bay Air Force Base to the Canadian government. Later he was Commander of Resources at Griffiss Air Force Base in New York, and then returned for a 2nd assignment to Nebraska. He could be considered one of the fathers of the U.S. Space Force because in the late 1970s he was tasked with uniting all the military’s satellites and space assets of the various branches into a single command over which he was named Administrative Director. He retired from the Air Force in 1980 and earned an MBA degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He worked for several years at Mutual of Omaha and First Data Resources before retiring. Jim beat cancer once several decades earlier. However, cancer won round 2. He passed on Sunday, August 14th at his home in Bellevue, NE.



He was preceded in death by parents, Herb and Edna; wife, Mary Lou (in 2016); sisters Jane Avery and Mary Horn; sister-in-law Helen Collins Drake; brothers-in-law Ed Ackerman, Ed Horn, Bill Collins, Harold Drake; daughter-in-law Laurie Booth McNeil; nephews Vincent and Patrick Drake.



He is survived by: sons, Eric McNeil and his sons (Collin, Logan, Trevor), and Rev. Fr. Joel McNeil; daughter Amy (John) Iwanski and children Sara, Joel and Anna (Steve) Nolan and children (Gwen, Sean, and Dominic); sister Patricia Ackerman, brother in law Ken (Elizabeth) Avery and daughter Hailee, nephews Tom Ackerman and Sumner Drake; nieces Sandra (Loren) Morse and children (Andrew, Gregory); Gail (Joseph) Cacchione and children (Callie, Olivia); Julie (Jim) Gilchriest and children (Zach, Kelsey); Katherine (Roger) Quail.



Funeral: Thursday, August 18th at 9:30 AM at John A. Gentleman Mortuaries Bellevue Chapel. Visitation will be Wednesday, August 17th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, followed by a Prayer Service at 7:00PM, also at the funeral home. Interment with Military Honors: Omaha National Cemetery.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James H. Mcneil, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

John A Gentleman Mortuaries - Bellevue/Sarpy County Chapel

3402 Samson Way, Bellevue, NE 68123

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Prayer Service

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

John A Gentleman Mortuaries - Bellevue/Sarpy County Chapel

3402 Samson Way, Bellevue, NE 68123

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Starts at 9:30 am (Central time)

John A Gentleman Mortuaries - Bellevue/Sarpy County Chapel

3402 Samson Way, Bellevue, NE 68123

Livestream

Click to watch

Livestreaming available at https://heartstreaming.link/james-h-mcneil

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Omaha National Cemetery

14250 Schram Road, Omaha, NE 68138

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 9

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree