One loving granddaughter (Don McNeil's) wrote the following letter and lovingly spoke it at his memorial service when she learned that her beloved Grandpops had "finished the race"...
"Dear Poppy, I have so much to say and I never got the chance to say it. I never knew that you would leave us so soon... I didn’t want you to leave, but I know deep down in my heart that you’re in a place you’ve always talked about: Heaven. I know as I grew up and turned into a teenager, I did as most teenagers do, and I stopped kissing you and hugging you. But I knew there was a reason why you said, “Your never too old to hug your Poppy, girl…” so, you would hug me and kiss me on the head. If only I knew how special those hugs and kisses were I wouldn’t have stopped giving you them. I hope you can hear everything I have to say… Look around this place and fully understand how much you are loved! You were known to many people as the life of the party, the comedian, the preacher, and the go-to guy. You knew just what to say to people, and did everything you could for them. I have so many special memories that I will hold dear to my heart… I remember going down to the trailer as a little girl… just me and you. We would have a routine… first we would stop at the dollar store and pick up some coloring books, crayons, and toys to play with. Next we would go to the movie store and pick up some old scary movies, or ones such as Mary Poppins and Pollyana, and then we would go to the grocery store to get my favorite popsicles. After that we would go to the store to get an outfit for the boardwalk. Then we would go to the Chinese buffet and have all you can eat dinner, and boy could you eat! Then you would take me home to get ready for the boardwalk. And even though it was hard for you to walk the boards, you managed to get me to every pier, and even stop in for your favorite slice of pizza, Mac & Mankos. Those were the best times of my life... I remembered you also having an apartment in Philly… you would pick me up and pretend to be my taxi driver. I would sit in the back and you would call me by, “Miss Shannon.” As I got older the memories got a little funnier… I started to understand your silly side. I remember the one time I ate a whole box of homemade garlic croutons the night before you picked me up for school. I got in the car and you asked if something was wrong… I wasn’t sure what you meant. After realizing in school after a few kids said I had smelled funny, I went to the nurse and said I was sick… sure enough you came right up to school and picked me up. I got in the car and you asked if I had a talk with my mom… I wasn’t sure what the heck you meant... To find out later, you didn’t want to hurt my feelings and thought I had a little hygiene problem! But finally we all found out it was the garlic leaking through my pores… the smile that spread across your face was contagious… the pink that arose to your cheeks, and the loud chuckle that you let out reminded me of Santa Clause… I could have cried… but looking back on it now I can crack up too. Speaking of Santa Clause, I can always remember your silly little trinkets… your perfect silly Christmas gifts. Somehow you managed to pick out the most stylish clothes for me, and yet they didn’t fit! I still squeezed into the jackets that you got me because YOU got me them, and I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. And the most recent memories were of me coming over to your apartment to snag a few dollars for gas… “Do I look like ATM machine kid?” you would say; and you would have me run to Wawa to get your soda and your cigs to return a favor… or when I was just bored and I wanted to come bug you and raid your kitchen, and sit and listen to you tell me all about judgment day. I know it seemed as though I wasn’t listening, but I was Poppy! And tonight, as I’m writing this, I turned my TV on to Channel 18 TBN... and I’m sitting here listening to every word the preacher is saying… everything the man is saying is every word I heard out of your mouth! And I’m so happy that you always yelled at me for watching junk TV, and flipping the channel to this... because now if I ever want to hear your voice and your words, all I have to do is turn my TV to Channel 18, and I’ll close my eyes and I pretend it’s you bugging me… and how I should get back into my faith. I will always love you Poppy… you were my Number One man! No one will hold my heart as dear as you do… and I promise that I will start going to church again, not just because you told me too… but because I know that’s where I can hear your words… and a flood of memories will come back to me… and that’s where I can find you............"
PS: if you are aware of any names we overlooked or misspelled, please let us know.
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NOTE: The following compilation of hymns compliments of Jim Engel.
God chooses our appointed time to allow our passing on to be with the Lord. The following persons have been formerly associated with the ministry in one way or another, but who now sleep and await their resurrection at the return of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.) These were "soldiers in the Army of the Lord!" who fought the good fight, who's works follow them, and who can make it into the Kingdom of God -- not by anything they did here on this earth -- but only by the precious Blood and grace of our Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ: