Deborah “Deb” McNeill, age 68, of Christmas, died surrounded by her loving family, Thursday, February 8, 2024 at UPHS-Marquette following a brief illness. She was born on October 29, 1955 in Mount Clemens, Michigan. She was raised by her parents Celia O’Neil and Harry Matthes and grew up in the Detroit area. Deb graduated from Carl Brablec High School in 1973. After working at a number small jobs and being a homemaker for twenty years, Deb went to school at Delta College and earned her degree as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). She worked as a nurse at Mid-Michigan Hospital in Midland and Mercy Hospital in Port Huron as well as a home health nurse at Concerned Home Care. In 2008, while on a trip to the U.P. Deb and Dave found themselves in Christmas. Deb made him stop the car to investigate a for sale sign, by the time they reached their destination in Sault Ste. Marie they had bought that home in Christmas. Deb was a proud member of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe and was an Elder of the Grand Island Band. She attended church at the United Methodist Church in Munising and was willing to volunteer and help all those who needed her. Deb also had a passion to care for the animals. She and Dave housed and adopted countless furry friends over the years. Now if you can’t quite pinpoint how you know Deb from the many things she did, it may be that bright smile and friendly wave you recognize her from. Deb loved to walk and no matter if you had been friends for years, or tourist traveling through town for the first time, Deb always had a welcoming smile and wave to brighten your day.
She is survived by her husband – Dave McNeill of Christmas; children – Christian James (Tiffany) Brown of Port Huron, Heather Lee (Aaron Zook) Brown of Pinckney, MI, and Michael David McNeill of Pinson, TN; grandchildren – Kirsten, Kailey, Seth, and Sawyer Brown, and Ryan McNeill; siblings – David Watson, Kenneth (Patricia) Watson, Gina (Sue) Watson, and Kimberly Watson; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws. Deb was preceded in death by her parents - Celia and Harry; sons – Shawn Aaron McNeill and Michael Reyes; and sister-in-law – Carol Watson.
Private family services are being held. If you would like to make a donation in Deb’s name, please consider donating to the Alger County Animal Shelter or the Alger Community Food Pantry.