ANDOVER –Leon James McNeill, 89, passed away peacefully on Monday (September 26, 2022) at Wellsville Manor Care Center surrounded by his wife and 6 children.
Mr. McNeill was born on September 3, 1933 in Rexville to James Joseph and Christina (Horton) McNeill. He was a 1951 graduate of Greenwood Central School and served in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958. On June 24, 1961, at the St. John of the Cross Catholic Church, he married Mary Jane VanDyke, who survives.
Leon spent his entire career in the agribusiness owing to his childhood on the McNeill farm, starting at Folts in Greenwood and Ellison’s in Whitesville. Leon’s work ethic and knowledge were noticed by those in the business, and he was offered the opportunity to move his family and manage a feed store in Belmont. This is where he started to dream of owning and operating a business of his own. In 1970, that became reality as he and his partner Dick York bought a building in Andover and began building a successful business, D & L Feeds. This was truly “a place for all your Farmer’s Needs.” Interacting with all his customers was just as enjoyable as the work he did.
He was a charter member of the Andover Lions Club, the West Union Fire Department, and the Amity Rescue Squad. He served as president of the Andover Lions Club for two terms, was selected as Lion of the Year in 1986, and in 2021 received the Milestone Chevron Award honoring his 50 years of service to the organization. He was a board member for the Andover Village and the Citizen’s Bank and served on the Allegany Cooperative Extension. He loved local sporting events and sponsored many Little League teams and a D&L softball team. He was a proud athlete himself, playing football, basketball, and volleyball at Greenwood and softball with the West Union Wildcats men’s team. Most importantly, Leon was a devoted parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Church and volunteered many hours to Catholic Charities, a steadfast model of the virtues of faith and service.
In addition to the love of his life of 61 years, Leon is survived by his children, his pride and joy: Michele (James) Lucco of Rochester, Michael (Donna) McNeill of Albany, Christopher (Denise) McNeill of Cohoes, Peter McNeill of Andover, Mary Davis of Wellsville, and Lee Ann (Gary) Terhune of Amherst; 16 grandchildren, Joseph (Emily) Lucco, Kaylee (Ryan) Corr, Mari Lucco, Matthew McNeill, Tara McNeill, Devin (Bryan) Egan, McKenzie McNeill, Daniel McNeill, Paige (James) Baldwin, James McNeill, Morgan McNeill, Bryce Davis, Ellie (Aidan) Perry, Jack Davis, Liam Terhune, and Claire Terhune; 10 great grandchildren, Nora Lucco, Peter James Lucco, Henry Corr, Adeline Corr, Schuyler McNeill, Brady Winne, Molly Egan, Reid Baldwin, Finn Baldwin, Quinn Baldwin, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by two brothers, Joseph McNeill and Emmett McNeill, and a son-in-law, David Davis. Leon embodied a balance of hard work and true love of family. He never missed an event, pulling up in the feed truck to take in the action. He showed love for not only his family, but also for many kids in Andover, as the McNeill home at 7 Main became a bustling social hub. Leon often said “I never want to see grass grow in front of the porch” – many years it was a dirt patch. In his later years, that porch became a place to rest and visit with many passersby, as well as the favorite spot for family to gather as he offered tales of years past and “Leon-isms” for all who would listen. No matter the season, his home buzzed with family and friends alike.
Visitation will be held on Friday (September 30) from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Baker-Swan Funeral Home in Andover. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church with Rev. Robert Agbo as celebrant. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery where full military honors will be rendered by the combined Andover and Wellsville American Legion and the United States Army.
Memorial contributions in Leon’s name may be made to the Andover Fire Department, PO Box 714, Andover NY 14806 or the Andover Volunteer Ambulance Corps, PO Box 726, Andover NY 14806. © 2022 Baker-Swan Funeral Home.