Richard "Dick" MacNealy, 94, departed this world Monday (November 6, 2017).
He was born in Newark, OH, on July 10, 1923 and spent his youth in Bethesda and Canton. He grew up during the depression, eventually went to McKinley High School, and was proud to have played football in Fawcett Stadium. Upon graduation from McKinley in 1942, he enlisted in the Coast Guard to fight in WWll. 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 which was kept top secret until well after the war was over. A few years after his discharge, he was accepted to Northern Michigan University, where he played football and graduated with a degree in education. He followed this by earning his Master’s degree from the University of Michigan. While at Northern, he met the former Shirley Ann Adams of Pickford, MI whom he married in 1952. He coached and taught at schools in Bellevue, OH (1952-1953),Cheboygan, MI (1953-1960) and for the Department of Defense School System in Japan (1960-1962). In 1962, he accepted a job as a school supply sales representative in Mississippi and moved from Japan to Mississippi to raise his family where he lovingly gave his three sons the kind of childhood he never had. In 1975, he went back into school work as a principal until he retired in 1989. He moved to Bradenton, FL for the next 15 years before moving back to Mississippi in 2005. While retired, he and Shirley, his wife of 65 years, spent many years traveling around the US in their motor home. They enjoyed square and round dancing wherever they travelled and especially enjoyed the summers they spent with Shirley’s sisters and brother-in-law, Betty Lipsett and Marilyn and Chuck Crawford, all of Cedarville. Dick was a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason, Phi Delta Kappan, President of the Bear Creek Water Association and of the Villas at the Reservoir Homeowner’s Association and member of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Brandon, MS.
He was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Curtis MacNealy of Newark; his mother, Estella Venus (Moore) Bealer of Bethesda, OH; and his older brother, Edwin Earle (Bill) MacNealy of Canton.
Richard is survived by his wife, Shirley, and their three sons, all retired Army pilots and their spouses, Colonel Richard (Rem) MacNealy and Ginger of Huntsville, AL, Colonel Bradly MacNealy and Duncan of Inverness, MS, and Brigadier General Kelly MacNealy and Libby of Madison, MS. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Sergeant First Class Bradly Jr. and his wife, Leah of Inverness, MS; Brittany and her husband Robert Gonzalez of St John, US Virgin Islands, Rachel Wesson and her husband Taylor, DC of Huntsville, AL, and Nathan of Madison, MS. Richard was also able to enjoy his two great-grandchildren before he passed, Haddie Mac Wesson and Robert (RJ) Gonzalez lll.
Richard loved his family and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren operating farm machinery, picking pecans and catfish harvesting operations in the Mississippi Delta.
Mr. MacNealy will be interned in the family mausoleum in Donaldson, MI. In lieu of flowers, Richard requested donations be made to Alzheimer’s Mississippi, 855 S. Pear Orchard Road, Suite 501, Ridgeland, MS 39157, in honor of the love of his life, Shirley, whom he was devoted to, and cared for, for so many years.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family at www.black-eppersonfuneralhomes.com