July 11, 1994
OBITUARY - JOSEPH EDWARD "JOE" McNEILL
Joseph Edward "Joe" McNEILL was born in Algona, Iowa, on May 4, 1920, the 10th of 11 children born to Edward and
Catherine McNEILL. Joe attended public schools in Algona, and graduated in 1937. During his school career he was
active in athletics and earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Idaho in Moscow, which he attended for
Joe returned to Kossuth County, Iowa and coached at St. Cecilia's Academy in Algona for one year before he was inducted
into the U.S. Army in the fall of 1942 and served until he received a medical discharge and returned to Iowa. Joe then
attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa where he played football for three seasons, including competing in the
1946 Raisin Bowl against Fresno State; Drake won 13-12.
On June 22, 1946, Joe married Bette Jeane DOBEY of Park Ridge, Illinois. The couple lived in Des Moines for two years
until Joe completed his degree at Drake in 1948. In the fall of '48, Joe began his teaching and coaching career in Mount
Ayr, Iowa. Except for two years at Iowa Falls High School, Joe served 28 years coaching and teaching in Mount Ayr.
Joe is the winningest coach in the history of Mount Ayr High School. He had a number of undefeated teams, including the
1963 season, for which he was named The Des Moines Register's Prep Coach of the Year. He was later inducted into the
Iowa High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. At times he also coached baseball and basketball at Mount Ayr, including
the 1954 basketball team which qualified for the state basketball tournament.
In addition to his coaching and teaching duties, Joe was actively involved in local sports, where he officiated high
school basketball, played on the town baseball team, bowled regularly, played golf and fished.
Joe retired from coaching after the 1972 football season, and retired from teaching in 1976. He remained in Mount Ayr
until 1993, when he and Bette moved to Maryville, Missouri.
Joe is survived by his wife Bette; two sons, Michael Joseph McNEILL of Portland, Oregon, and David Alan McNEILL of West
Des Moines, Iowa; two daughters, Nancy Jean HURST of Maryville, Missouri, and Judith Ann SWALWELL of Houston, Texas;
and eight grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers Tom NcNEILL of Wells, Minnesota, and John McNEILL of
Algona, Iowa; and three sisters, Grace NELLIS and Mary LARKIN, both of Phoenix, Arizona, and Ethel SHEEHAN of Battle
Funeral services were held at the United Methodist church in Mount Ayr, Iowa on October 6, 1996. Officiating were Rev.
Michael DRUHL and Rev. Merlin wILKINS. Music was provided by Mrs. Gregg CANNON and John ALLEN.
Casketbearers were David STILL, Chester ROED, James SAVILLE, Malcolm EIGHMY, Kelly RICHARDS and Donald DAILEY. Honorary
pallbearers were Keith COLE, Dr. Duane MITCHELL, Earl SICKELS, Charles RICHARDS, Laurence BISHOP, Max McGEHEE, Merrill
PERRY, Steve ROE and Phil HERRINGTON.
Wilson-Watson & Armstrong Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2010
Creston, Union County, Iowa
OBITUARY ~ JOE McNEILL, MARYVILLE, MO.
MOUNT AYR - Joe McNEILL, 76, of Maryville, Mo., formerly of Mount Ayr, died of a heart attack Oct. 3, 1996 at St.
Francis Hospital in Maryville, Mo.
Services were 2 p.m. Oct. 6 at the United Methodist Church in Mount Ayr. The Rev.
Michael DRUHL and the Rev. Merlin WILKINS officiated the service. Music was provided by Mrs. Gregg CANNON, organist
and John ALLEN, vocalist. The Wilson-Watson and Armstrong Funeral Home, 205 W. Monroe Street, Mount Ayr, had charge
Pallbearers were David STILL, Chester ROED, James SAVILLE, Malcolm EIGHMY, Kelly RICHARDS and Donald
DAILEY. Honorary pallbearers were Keith COLE, Earl SICKELS, Lawrence BISHOP, Merrill PERRY, Phil HERRINGTON, Dr. Duane
MITCHELL, Charles RICHARDS, Max McGEHEE and Steve Roe.
Mr. McNEILL was born May 4, 1920, at Algona to Edward and
Catherine (FOLEY) McNEILL. HE graduated from Drake University. He ws a teacher and coach in Mount Ayr Schools, retiring
in 1979. He grew up in Algona, and lived in Mount Ayr from 1949 until moving to Maryville, Mo., in 1992. He was named
Des Moines Register Coach of the Year in 1963.
Survivors include his wife, Betty (DOBEY) McNEILL of Maryville,
Mo.; two daughters, Nancy (husband Tim) HURST of Conception, Mo., and Judy SWALWELL of Houston, Texas; two sons, Mike
McNEILL of Portland, Ore., and David (wife Dana) McNEILL of West Des Moines; two brothers, John (wife Evelyn) McNEILL
of Algona and Tom McNEILL of Wells, Minn.; three sisters, Grace NELLIS and Mary LARKIN of Phoenix, Ariz., and Ethel
SHEEHAN of Battle Creek, Mich.; and eight grandchildren.
Submission by Ann Wyer, July of 2012
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
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