Joseph MacNeil

Born: Sat., Sep. 20, 1941
Died: Mon., Jul. 27, 2020

Graveside Service

Location: St. Joseph Cemetery

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Music by The Piano Brothers

CPO2 (Ret’d), CD2  Joseph MacNeil 78, Sydney Mines

It is with deep sadness that we, his family announce the crossing of the bar of Joseph MacNeil after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.  Just like Joe, he fought to the bitter end.
Born in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, NS on Sept 20, 1941.  He was the son of the late Lawrence and Cathleen (Tutty) MacNeil.

Joe enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in June of 1959, at the tender age of 17.  He served on several ships including: HMCS BonaventureX2, Yukon, Bras D’or, Huron and MacKenzie.  Joe loved the RCN and excelled from the onset, achieving “Top Recruit”, December 1959.  His many years in the RCN afforded him to travel the world and enjoy postings in Halifax, NS on the East Coast, Victoria, BC on the West Coast, and to our nations capital, Ottawa, Ont.  

His early years in the Navy, Joe excelled in boxing holding the Atlantic Command Lightweight Championship.  He has coached and judged Amateur Boxing for Nova Scotia and British Columbia for several years.  In the early 1980’s CPO2 Joe MacNeil was the head coach of the West Coast Gun Run Team, which was a very rewarding appointment for his naval career.  The “Chief” retired from the RCN in 1986 after accepting a position in Test and Trials at Saint John Ship Building where he spent several years on the Canadian Patrol Frigate Program.  During his time in NB he trained the Saint John U14 Girls Soccer team with head coach and long-time friend CP02 Bryce Reid (Ret’d) where they held the Maritime Championship Title and competed for a National Title.  

As an extremely hardworking man who never feared any task, he built his own home with help from family and friends, then in turn assisted several family members and friends building their homes, always lending a helping hand.

He was preceded by his parents Lawrence and Cathleen MacNeil, brothers Lonnie, Bobby, Jack and Normie.  Also by his first wife Nanda Sampson.

He is survived by his loving spouse, Donna Blinkhorn with whom Joe spent the last 13 years enjoying his life on Ocean Street with Donna and family.

He is also survived by his 6 children with whom he loved so much and talked about often, Jimmy (Deborah), Roger (Monica), Joe (Leeann), Bobby ( Janice), Rudy and daughter Nanda (Kris).  Poppy to all his special grandchildren Courtney, Meriah, Shanna Mary, Jesse, Samson, Colin, Emma, Kai and precious Great grandchildren Tesla, Raiya, Lily, Joseph and Jaydan.

He is also survived by his brother Danny (Debbie), sisters, Theresa Andrea (Ted), Kay Hickey and Sally Sampson (Jimmy).  

As per Joe’s request, there will be no visitation.  There will be a Graveside Service on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, York Street, Sydney Mines at 10 am.  In Lieu of Flowers, please donate to the Canadian Cancer Society. Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at

We honor the life that was lived to the full
We honour a spirit, now free
You’ll long be remembered, whenever we say,
“Fair winds and a following sea”

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