Share this memorial:
Born:September 17, 1926
Charleston, Illinois
Died:February 19, 2005
Santa Barbara, California

This Online Memorial Has Expired
It Will Be Deleted Soon

Keep this memorial online for another year for only $11.00 USD

Unless more time is purchased to keep this memorial online, it will be removed from this website very soon.  Visitors will be unable to view this memorial, including any stories, photos, personal notes or other memorabilia that have been added to this web page.

Nancy McNeill passed away peacefully at Cottage Hospital on Saturday, February 19, 2005 at the age of 78.  She spent her last days surrounded by family members and the extraordinary caregivers that had become very close to her during her ten year struggle with Cold Agglutinin Disease and Waldenstrom’s Lymphoma.  Her strong will to survive was an inspiration to all, as was her grace, courage and lack of self-pity.

Nancy was born in Charleston, Illinois on September 17, 1926 to Adin Baber & Lois Shoot. She was a true child of the Illinois prairie and became interested in the history of her pioneer family from a young age. She and her sister Alice spent their childhoods in Illinois and Florida, much of it on the Baber farm near Kansas, Illinois. She suffered the loss of her mother at the age of 16, in the midst of World War II.

Nancy graduated from Kansas High School in 1944. She attended McMurray College in Jacksonville IL before earning a degree in English from Washington University in St. Louis MO. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.

She married John Konrad Kern in1948. They made their home in Washington D.C. where she had a brief career with the Central Intelligence Agency. She started her lifelong travels with a solo trip to Europe, which inspired her to move her young family to Germany for an extended stay a few years later. Her three sons were born in 1954,1956 and 1960. She gave her children an appreciation of history, cultures and languages by the experience of living and travelling throughout Europe and into Africa.

Nancy next settled in Carpinteria CA where she married Charles A. McNeill, Jr. and joined Carpinteria Community Church. She helped Chuck run his orchard management business and began managing the Illinois farm after the loss of her father in 1974. This duty involved many trips back to her ancestral home, which she kept in a remarkable state of preservation for the benefit of future generations. She lost her sister Alice in 1981. She became very involved in the lives of her six grandchildren. She was active in the Scottish Society of Santa Barbara as well as Clan Macneil on whose national council she served until her death. She performed as a member of a Scottish Country Dancing group until the onset of her disease in 1995. She built a strong marriage with Chuck and, despite her own worsening health, became his primary caregiver as he struggled with Alzheimer’s disease at the end of his life. She lost Chuck in 2001.

Nancy expressed her lifelong interest in history and genealogy by setting to work on the revision of one of her father’s books, The Hanks Family of Virginia and Westward. She joined genealogical societies, traveled to libraries, and learned how to use the internet to conduct her research once she was no longer able to travel. She took great satisfaction is seeing the book published in September of 2004, an accomplishment all the more remarkable because of her increasing disability.
love nancy.jpg
Nancy Baber
Added by Anonymous

kern family.jpg
John Michael, Nancy, Geoff, John & Billy
Added by Geoff Kern

mcneill 1977.jpg
Nancy & Chuck McNeill 1977
Added by Geoff Kern

1948 Wedding.jpg

Added by Anonymous


Added by Anonymous

2002 visit.jpg
Alex, Maia, Stephanie, Nancy, Shannon, Karen & Geoff ( 2002 )
Added by Karen Kern
Memorabilia (audio, video, files, documents, etc.)

Personal Notes

Nancy was a 'live wire.' She brought spark to my Uncle Chuck, researched my family history, taught me Scottish Country dancing and dressed my husband in a kilt!
Love and condolences to her children, grandchildren and all who loved her.

Added by Pamela McNeill Badger

Thank you for visiting mom's online memorial. We want you to know that you can make donations in memory of Nancy B. McNeill to The Friendship Center for Alzheimers in Santa Barbara and HELP of Carpinteria, 1069 Casitas Pass Rd. We encourage you to give blood. A blood donation can be made at Carpinteria Community Church, Mar. 3, 2005 4-7 PM.
Added by John and Geoff Kern

Please join us at a celebration of Nancy's life at 10 AM on March 19, 2005, at the Carpinteria Community Church, 1111 Vallecito Lane, Carpinteria, California
Added by John Kern

My grandma was a strong woman. She had a powerful sense of right and of duty, especially to her family. When something needed to be done, she was the one to turn to. She could find the right ballet instructor for a cranky six year old, arrange to have a house remodeled while its occupant was away, or explain, in great detail, why it is that sheep dogs were so important to the economic health of Scotland. We were all very lucky to have her in our lives. With love,
Added by Bliss

We would like to express our deep, heart-felt condolences to the Kern family on the passing of Nancy. We loved her dearly. But while we mourn her loss we also celebrate a great lady who loved life in it’s richness and diversity, and who cared deeply for those around her. We are indebted to her for documenting our history. Her loving care for Chuck in his declining years was something to emulate. We are richer for having known her.
With Love,
Patty, Rich, Leila, Nathan

Added by Richard Kessler McNeill, Jr.

I learned the names of plants and birds from my mom. Some of my first cell phone calls were from my kayak when I needed help figuring our a hawk or a heron or a kingfisher. After walks on the beach I would come report to her what strange birds I had seen and she knew more about them than I did, for instance, their names.

Support your local birding society and think of Nancy McNeill.

Added by John

Nancy's obituary appeared in Coastal View News in Carpinteria on Feb. 24, 2005. It can be viewed on line at Click on "this week" or "search archives".
Added by John

I am forever grateful to have had the pleasure of having such a loving person a part of my life. She taught me that despite having a long term illness it does not mean you have to stop living. Her courage and fight for life were an inspiration to us all. She was always interested in the day to day happenings of her children and the many others she loved. She was not only my second Mom she was my dear friend. I feel so blessed for the time we shared together.
Added by Karen Lindsey Kern
This memorial has ongoing storage and maintenance costs.

Help to keep this memorial online: Purchase more storage space or time