Margaret Emma McNeely

            Margaret Emma McNeely, 89, of Redmond WA died peacefully at home on June 12, 2013 from a heart condition.  Margaret was born January 8, 1924 to Carmelo and Antonia Grana in Roscoe, California.  Following graduation from North Hollywood High School in 1942, she finished a course in comptometry (operation of a key-driven calculator), then worked at Richfield Oil Company for a year. A World War II U.S. government subsidized nurse education program (the Cadet Nurse Corps) allowed her to earn a 3-year nursing diploma from the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. 

MomEarly1940s            She became a stewardess for Pan American Airlines in the early 1950s . Modern planes of the day included the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. It preceded jet engine planes but featured luxuries such as a pressurized cabin and curtained sleeping berths.  She flew primarily out of San Francisco to Asia and the South Pacific. Margaret especially enjoyed Fiji. Between flights, she worked as a registered nurse at several hospitals –  initially in San Francisco, and later in New York. 

            In 1956 Margaret married Pan Am pilot Richard (Dick) McNeely.  She was an exceptionally loving and devoted mother to her four children. During their 38 years of marriage, Margaret and Dick moved many times, living in New York, Germany, England, North Carolina, California, and Washington. Margaret enjoyed motherhood, cooking, making a beautiful and welcoming home, music, laughter and pets.   Margaret cared for Dick at home when he developed lung cancer.  After Dick died in 1994, Margaret moved back to Western Washington in 1995 to be closer to her children.  For the next 18 years, she provided a loving home to a series of three older cats: Panther, Honey and Mitzi (also known as Miss Kitty, in honor of Gunsmoke). She MomMattsWedding2009_croppedmoved to Fairwinds Redmond Retirement Community when it first opened in 2006. She formed many close friendships there, and she frequently raved about the Fairwinds chefs and staff.

            Margaret is survived by her children Ann Marie Read (Rick), Marguerite McNeely (Dominic Reilly), Elizabeth McNeely Albertson (Tom) and Tom McNeely (Suzann Finch); her sisters Bea Grote (Don) and Rosemary Kadoch; five grandchildren, a niece and two nephews. 

            Remembrances can be made to Evergreen Hospice, Seattle Humane Society, or a charity of your choice.   

One Response to “Margaret Emma McNeely”

  • Vicki McNeely Vick says:

    I always called her my movie star aunt. So very beautiful.

    Much love and prayers to my family.

    Vicki McNeely Vick
    Heath Springs, SC

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