Alumni Stories

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Bill McNeill

Bill McNeill

Class of 1956

HIGH SCHOOL YEARS - Bill was in the all-school play in his senior year.
FROM THE YEARBOOK - “Bill McNeill wills old BCHS to all incoming freshmen.”
CLASS OF 1956 REUNITED AFTER TWENTY YEARS - “Bill McNeill is the owner of the Dillon Taxi Cab Co.”
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE REUNION - It seemed to go over pretty good. Wish more classmates had shown up. A couple that live in Dillon didn’t show.
THINGS I’M GLAD MY MOTHER NEVER KNEW (I HOPE) OR I WISH SHE HAD NEVER KNOWN - A few of you (girls probably) may remember that Bill had a 1940 Ford Coupe that he was seriously proud of. Well it seems that he frequently would pick up the girls on the way to school. Well as he would near the school, he would ‘turn a brody’ - as they used to say. Never got caught, but he was glad that his mother never knew.
AFTER HIGH SCHOOL - Bill did ranching while going to Western. In the winter there was no ranch work, so he stayed with Jim Womack for a while, and decided to go into the Guard Reserve Forces at Fort Knox, KY, where he trained as part of a tank crew. While there he was promoted to a platoon sergeant for training.
After returning to Montana, he went into freeway construction building the freeway around Lima and Monida.
Later he worked on the Clark Canyon Dam before going back to Western to get his degree in secondary education. (An interesting side note was that he was the advisor for the Dillon Demolay while at Western.)
He went to teaching high school at Dixon (near Missoula), wood shop, mechanical drawing, social studies, spelling, and reading for four years. He later went to Whitehall where he also taught social studies and was a counselor in the high school.
Bill went to work as a Montana State Employment Service Counselor for about seven years - part of that time in Dillon. He later went to work for Ron Johnson in Dillon with the SW Montana Alcohol Producers (making ethanol - not drinking it).
And in 1988 Bill went back to Butte where he worked recruiting for Job Corps for nine years. In 1997 the job ended and Bill moved on.
A position came open for someone with counseling experience as a caregiver for a brain injured boy. It seems that this young fellow was drunk, and on marijuana (and maybe other stuff) when he decided to drive home. In the ensuing car wreck, his head got bounced around and he was in a coma for three months. He needed considerable care when he got out of the hospital. Couldn’t use his left arm, and had lost his short term memory. Bill says that the boy was quite angry and kept asking “why me”. (Well, now I think I can kind of figure that one out. Oh well.) Anyway, Bill kept at it until he retired in 2000.
FAMILY - Bill married Thomasiene from Butte in 1982. Bill had one daughter and one son from a previous marriage.
Vanessa has a 3 year old son, and is a tech writer for a computer company. (WOW - don’t I often wish I had a built in tech support.) She lives with her son in Helena.
Curtis is married to Doreen and they have a son in grade school. Curtis is a stay-at-home dad studying with the University of Alaska to be a teacher. Doreen is the personnel manager for Alaska Fish and Game out of Fairbanks. OK not get this. They live in North Pole, Alaska! (You careful readers will recall that Carolee Kambich Fifield’s - May 2007 Newsletter - stepson David is a mechanic for a gold mine in North Pole. HOW SMALL WORLD IS THAT?)
LEISURE ACTIVITIES - Bill considers himself a ‘typical Montanan’. Fishing camping and gardening have been high on his list of to do items. This year he has had some health problems, so is working at getting back to normal.
Bill loves his computer, and is the American Legion Adjutant and Finance Officer.
HIGH SCHOOL MEMORIES - His best friend was Ron Buckingham.
Another special memory is singing in the All State Chorus at Missoula.

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