Dr. Jimmy McNeil

Obituary of Dr. Jimmy Wallace McNeil

Dr. Jimmy Wallace McNeil, 83, of Abilene, Texas passed from this life on Thursday, November 8th at Hendrick Medical Center.


Visitation will be held 5:00 to 7:00 pm Monday November 12th in the Hillcrest Church of Christ auditorium. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm Tuesday November 13th at the Hillcrest Church of Christ auditorium with Nathan Burrow and Bob Pipes of Hillcrest Church of Christ officiating. Burial will follow in Elmwood Memorial Park.  Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.


Jimmy was born in Lubbock, Texas to W.L. (Wallace) and Ethel Jennings McNeil on August 3rd, 1935. He attended schools in Clyde and Abilene and graduated from Abilene High School in 1953.  He attended Abilene Christian University, University of Houston, and Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee where he graduated with his Doctor of Optometry.  It was during his time in Memphis that he met, Dorothy (Dot) Anne Reeves, who was attending Methodist Hospital School of Nursing.  They married on June 20th, 1957.


Jimmy was drafted into the United States Air Force in 1958 and was stationed at Harlingen Air Force Base in Harlingen, Texas where he served as the Base Optometrist until October 1961. When he left the Air Force, the young McNeil family (Jimmy, Dot, and daughter, Anne) moved to Abilene, Texas where he joined the Optometry practice of Dr. Grady B. Jolly, his brother-in-law.  Jimmy also practiced two days per month in Hamlin, Texas. In the next few years Jimmy and Dot welcomed sons Wally, born in 1962, and Mike, born in 1964. Dr. McNeil retired in 2000 after practicing Optometry in Abilene 39 years.


Jimmy enjoyed serving in many ways during his life: Taylor Elementary PTA President, Eastern Little League President, Texas Optometric Association Board and President, Abilene Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, Abilene Downtown Rotary Club for 40 years with perfect attendance and was a Paul Harris Fellow, Christian Homes of Abilene Board from 1983 to 1995, Abilene City Council three terms 1989-1992, 1993-1996, and 2001-2004, and was a 1990 All-American City delegate.


Jimmy served as a Deacon while attending Highland Church of Christ. He and Dot have been active members of Hillcrest Church of Christ for 20+ years and he had been a greeter on Sunday morning for the last several years. He also enjoyed serving food at the Loaves and Fishes Fellowship dinners and Breakfast with Santa. Jimmy was loved by his classmates from the Abilene High School Class of 1953 and worked with local classmates to organize many reunions. Together, Jimmy and Dot served together at The World’s Largest Barbecue, and volunteered at the Taylor County Expo Center during the West Texas Fair and the Western Heritage Classic each year. Jimmy supported Dot and the Abilene Community Band by attending every concert and practice, holding the door open and welcoming each member on Monday nights. Jimmy and Dot also sponsored one water well in Tenali, India for International Sanctuary Ministries and planned to sponsor a second well.


Playing golf was more than a pastime or hobby for Jimmy. He had a passion for the game and made many enduring friendships from golf partners. In the past he served on the board of Shady Oaks Country Club, where he had a lifetime membership. Since retiring in 2000, he enjoyed playing as much as he wanted, and often shot his age or under in the last few years.


Jimmy was known for his great big hugs, good stories, big smile, and contagious laugh. He loved God, his Dottie, family, friends, country, golf, and life... and Jimmy did have a wonderful life in this world.  He lived a life of servitude on earth and now is serving his Savior eternally.


Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, W.L. and Ethel McNeil, his sister, Nell Jolly, one son Dr. Mike McNeil, and one great-granddaughter, Capri Hickey.


Jimmy is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dot, daughter, Anne Reno (Doug), son, Wally McNeil (Kristy), grandchildren Nichole Kitchen (Paul), Trey McNeil (Paige), Bryson Reno, Aubrey McNeil (Matt), Michael Reno (Michelle), Mattie McNeil (Patrick), Jase McNeil (Taylor), Kylee McNeil, Karlee McNeil, Kirsty McNeil, and Kammy McNeil, and great-grandchildren Allison Reno, Parker Kitchen, Brendan Carr, Hayden McNeil, Knox Dickinson, Veda Dickinson, Harper Reno, and Cruz Vasquez.


Pallbearers will be Bill Fowler, Melvin Martin, Glen Tuttle, Bill Spann, Fred Calhoun, Bill Walker, Dr. Kent Comolli, and Dr. Marion Lewis.


Memorials may be given to Christian Homes of Abilene, International Sanctuary Ministry’s Water Well Fund (Make checks out to Hillcrest Church of Christ and designate “water well”), Smile Train, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.