2017-11-30 / Obituaries

Richard ‘Dick’ MacNealy

Richard MacNealy Richard MacNealy Richard “Dick” MacNealy, 94, passed away Monday, November 6, 2017.

He was born July 10, 1923, in Newark, Ohio.

He spent his youth in Bethesda, Ohio, and Canton, Ohio.

Mr. MacNealy grew up during the Depression, and upon graduation from high school in 1942, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard to fight in World War II. As a crew member on Landing Ship, Tank (LST) 166, he was in seven combat campaigns against Japan in the South Pacific involving battles at Saipan, the Solomon Islands, Okinawa, Guadalcanal, Vella la Vella, and Bougainville. He and his ship narrowly escaped destruction during the West Loch disaster in Hawaii, sometimes called the Second Pearl Harbor, a tragedy that was kept top secret until well after the war was over.

Soon after his discharge, he attended Northern Michigan University, where he played football and earned a degree in education. He followed this by earning his master’s degree from the University of Michigan. While at Northern Michigan University, he met Shirley Ann Adams of Pickford, and they were married in 1952.

Mr. MacNealy coached and taught school in Bellevue, Ohio, and then in Cheboygan, from 1953 to 1960, where his two oldest sons were born, and for the Department of Defense School System in Japan, where his youngest son was born. In 1962, he accepted a job as a school supply sales representative in Mississippi, and moved from Japan to rear his family. He lovingly gave his three sons the childhood he never had. In 1975, he went back into school work as a principal in the Canton Public Schools, until he retired in 1989. He moved to Bradenton, Florida, and lived there for the next 15 years before moving to Brandon, Mississippi, in 2005.

He was a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason, Phi Delta Kappan, and former president of the Bear Creek Water Association and of the Villas at the Reservoir Homeowner’s Association. He was a member of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Brandon.

Mr. MacNealy and his wife of 65 years spent many years traveling around the United States in their motor home. They enjoyed square and round dancing wherever they traveled, and they especially enjoyed the summers they spent with his wife’s sisters and brother-in-law, Betty Lipsett and Marilyn and Chuck Crawford, all of Cedarville.

He loved his family and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren operating farm machinery, picking pecans, and watching catfish harvesting operations at Eagle Lake and Lake Dawson Planatation in the Mississippi Delta.

His wife, Shirley, passed away November 22.

He is survived by three sons, all retired U.S. Army pilots, and their families, Colonel Richard “Rem” and Ginger MacNealy of Huntsville, Alabama, Colonel Bradly MacNealy and Duncan of Inverness, Mississippi, and Brigadier General Kelly and Libby MacNealy of Madison, Mississippi; grandchildren, Sergeant First Class Bradly, Jr. and Leah MacNealy of Inverness, Brittany and Robert Gonzales of St John, U.S. Virgin Islands, Rachel and Taylor Wesson of Huntsville, and Nathan MacNealy of Madison, and two great-grandchildren, Haddie Mac Wesson and Robert “RJ” Gonzales III.

Mr. MacNealy was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Curtis MacNealy of Newark; his mother, Estella Venus (nee Moore) Bealer of Bethesda, and his older brother, Edwin Earle “Bill” MacNealy of Canton.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, December 3, at 2 p.m. at R. Galer Funeral Home in Pickford. Visitation will be from 1:30 p.m. to time of the service.

He will be interred together with his wife at Oaklawn Chapel Gardens, near the farm where she grew up.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Alzheimer’s Mississippi, 855 South Pear Orchard Road, Suite 501, Ridgeland, MS 39157, in honor of his wife, whom he was devoted to, and cared for, for so many years.

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