Michael ‘Cowboy’ McNeel
Michael “Cowboy” McNeel passed away Feb. 23, 2006, at Washoe Medical Center in Reno, Nev., following a sudden illness.
Michael was born Dec. 19, 1943, in Cleburne, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University under a football scholarship. He later went to work for General Dynamics Aircraft in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He married and had a daughter, Mona. Michael worked for an aircraft company in San Diego and from there moved to the state of Hawaii and worked as a tile setter. During several visits to the Lake Tahoe area to ski, he fell in love with the Sierra and lived there for 35 years. He was proud to be part of the ski patrol at Sierra Ski Ranch, now Sierra-at-Tahoe, during the winter months, where he worked for 12 years. In the summer he worked as a white water raft guide, another profession he loved.
Michael was a member of the labor union and worked in the construction field for many years. He was a great lover of dogs, especially his beloved Kimo and Sermon. He was a wonderful gardener and entertained his friends with many stories of his battles with the squirrels who bothered his gardens. Michael was an avid fisherman and enjoyed the entire experience of just sitting by an Alpine lake enjoying the Sierra. He married his wife, Mary, whom he loved dearly, in 2000 and they enjoyed traveling, fishing and hiking the Sierra.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary; daughter, Mona; sisters, Cheryl Ann Hill and Marianna Thrapp; brother, Zoltan O’Neel; grandchildren, Joy, Michael, Trisha, Tessie and Tori; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and friends. He was predeceased by his brother, Raymond; and his parents, Mac and Inez McNeel.
A memorial service and celebration of Michael’s life will take place sometime in the summer in the Sierra that he loved.
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