"Threads of Love" Donor Memorial Quilt: Quilt 36
10/24/54 – 3/24/11
Neil was a brother, uncle, father & a true friend.
For years a common familial response to the question of “how would you describe Neil?” was “one cannot describe one must experience Neil.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote ‘to be great is to be misunderstood’. Applying Emerson’s metric for greatness to Neil would have put him off the charts, for it was extremely difficult to figure out Neil until you experienced him. He was a walking dichotomy. From afar his brawny physique, booming voice, bearded face & commanding presence would lead one to believe that a Viking was coming to plunder the village. One soon realized under such intimidating traits a loving caring teddy bear would emerge.
Neil was once described in this fashion; “Do you know when you are 14 & you cannot wait til you become an adult? When you become an adult you realize that being 14 was actually a great time, but you have forgotten how to be that person. Neil is one of those rare people who never forgot how to be 14 years old & enjoy life.” Neil would sail, ride motorcycles, drive a car in demolition derby, ride a skateboard while in halo traction for a broken neck or pull a prank to remind everybody to have some fun.
The love that Neil gave was unconditional & without judgment. If you fell down Neil was there to help you up without a question or a lecture. If you needed a place to sleep there was always a bed in Neil’s house. If you needed a ride there was always room for one more in Neil’s car.
- Excerpts, from the eulogy written by Jim McNulty.