Prof. Rupert MacNeill mourned
The University community was saddened Februray 4 to learn of the sudden death of Professor Rupert H. MacNeill, professor of geology, at his home in Wolfville at age 68. A familiar face on campus for over 35 years, Prof. MacNeill, a native of Knutsford, P.E.I., arrived at Acadia as a student in 1945 following five years of service with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
He graduated B.Sc. in 1950 with majors in physics and geology and a year later earned the Master of Science degree. It was in 1951 that he joined the faculty of the Acadia Department of Geology, an association he maintained for the rest of his life. Following official retirement in 1980, he taught part·time in the Department and continued his close interest in Acadia. At the time of his death, he had just returned from a recruiting trip.
He is well remembered as commanding officer of Acadia Squadron, RCAF (later 203 U. Squadron) from 1951 to 1968. In that year he became the first Director of the Department of Extension with responsibility also for summer schools and student assistance. He returned to full-time service in the Geology Department in 1977.
On his retirement, the Associated Alumni of Acadia established the Rupert MacNeill Scholarship Fund and the Geology Department named an introductory geology lab in his honor. Prof. MacNeill served for two years as president of the Faculty Association and was a faculty member of the senior citizens study program, Elderhostel. A member of numerous associations, he served on the executive of the Mineralogical Association of Canada; was president and a life member of the Association of Directors of Extension and Summer Schools of the Maritime Provinces; was president and secretary of the Valley chapter of the N.S. Institute of Science and was an executive of the Halifax branch of Mining Society of Nova Scotia.
Among many other professional appointments, he was a member of the National Research Council Association Committee on Meteorites, past chairman of the Atlantic Geoscience Society, and first chairman of the geology curriculum committee of the N.S. Department of Education.
His service to the community was equally wholehearted. He held high office in the Masonic Order and served prominently in the Royal Canadian Legion and the Rotary Club where he was past district governor. He also served on Wolfville town council, the school board and on the Emergency Measures Organization executive.
In his native P.E.1. he organized the first Boy Scout troop in O'Leary, in 1937 and later was president of Wolfville Boy Scouts Association and a member of the county Scouts council.
He is survived by his wife, the former Jeannette Dennis; a son Ronald, Windsor, a brother Raynall, Charlottetown; a sister Mary (Mrs. Kantford Horne), Bloomfield, P.E.1. and a granddaughter. His brother Reginald died before him.
Donations may be made to the R.H. MacNeill Scholarship Fund, Acadia University, through the alumni office (Box 520, Wolfville, B4P 2R6)