Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
“I will briefly tell you about Robin Neill, the husband and father we will treasure always.
He was born to parents who had immigrated as adults to northern Ontario from the north of Ireland (Robert Neill) and Scotland (Margaret Maguire Neill). Robin’s first blessing was the family into which he was born, consisting of an older brother Sam, a younger sister Marg whom he always called MR, and a younger brother Terry. Their parents raised their young family in Port Arthur, Ontario, during the Depression, and instilled in each child a strong sense of self and a strong sense of family identity. Their childhood was described by Marg as ‘a superior childhood,’ a dual reference to the fact that they grew up on the shores of Lake Superior, and the fact that they had an idyllic childhood. All of the young Neills achieved academic distinction and followed rewarding careers.
The Neill men were gifted with athletic abilities as well. Robin’s high school and intercollegiate sports were basketball, football, and middle-distance running. All his life he loved the physical activities of running, hiking, swimming, and snowshoeing, as well as grass cutting, leaf raking, snow shovelling, and house painting.
Academically, his field was political economy and his career (which lasted over 50 years at the Universities of Saskatchewan, Carleton, and Prince Edward Island) was an abiding joy to him, right up until the afternoon of his death. He enjoyed teaching university students and doing academic research equally.
Family meant so much to Robin. He was to Sharon a ‘best friend and life’s companion.’ His daughter Natalie provided him with the greatest pleasure he ever knew. A university professor herself, she calls him her mentor and role model, but he always maintained that he learned far more from her than he ever taught her. And his love for her husband Paul grew over the years as he watched their union grow and saw how happy they made each other.
Robin loved his life and the people in it. He touched the lives of many people and will be remembered.”
– Sharon Neill
~ He lived, and he was loved. ~
“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”
– William Blake