Eleanor Betty MacNeil
Eleanor Betty MacNeil passed away peacefully on August 18, 2020 in Thousand Oaks, California with her daughters by her side. Mom’s heart and spirit were so big, the love she gave so powerful, the role she played in so many lives so enormous, that her loss is impossible to describe. All who knew her are far richer for it; the world is far poorer for her absence.
Eleanor was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1928. Her childhood was one of poverty and hardship, which gave her an inner strength and feistiness not always obvious to observers. She was raised by her great-grandmother, Viola, who taught her to treat all people fairly and with respect and kindness, in a time and place where those values were not so common. Mom never lost her feistiness, her kindness, or her soft southern accent.
Eleanor made her way from Georgia to California after graduating from Norman College, and there she met her husband, Donald William MacNeil, who predeceased her in 2016. They were married in June of 1954. Eleanor is survived by their three children: son, Don, Jr. of Houston, TX; daughter Janet (Keith) of Simi Valley; daughter Carole (Michael) of Erie, CO; and a total of seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Mom was a homemaker in the truest sense of the word. She made a loving home for her husband of 62 years and her three children as they moved throughout the western United States with Don’s career. After her children were grown and she and Don had settled for good in Thousand Oaks, she continued to create a loving and welcoming home for grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even “adopted” family members who came to live under her roof. Mom’s doors were always open, just as her heart was always open to any and all who needed love, compassion or just a kind word.
Mom was also a passionate and dedicated volunteer, working over the years for such causes as Manna Food Bank, Shop Ahoy, Ascension Lutheran School, and several children’s charities. It will be an enduring mystery how a heart the size of mom’s could ever fit in one human-size body. Her generosity of spirit, her compassion for all, and her bounteous love made her beloved to all who knew her.
Mom adored angels; a plaque in her yard read, “Make room in your garden for the angels to dance.” Rarely would she be seen without an angel pin on her shoulder. Now she has gone to live among those angels she loved so much.
In accordance with Don and Eleanor's wishes, there will be no formal service. Remembrances can be made on this website. At a time when it is safe again to travel and gather, a celebration of life will be held to celebrate the lives and love of mom and dad.