April 6th, 1940 - July 6th, 2017
William A. MacNeil, April 6, 1940 – July 6, 2017
A man who loved words, William A. MacNeil, 77, was a newspaper editor, playwright, director, actor, and producer. He died July 6, 2017 at his home in Santa Fe after a long illness.
Bill was born to William R. and Helen (Tobin) MacNeil in Brooklyn, N.Y. on April 6, 1940, and grew up in Palisades Park, N.J. A graduate of Leonia High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Rutgers University and a master’s in English literature at Northwestern University.
His newspaper career began at The Record in Hackensack, N.J., where he started the Sunday edition, mentored many young reporters, and met his wife Jane 50 years ago this June. Other editorial posts included the Reuters North American desk in London, the Associated Press in Boston, the Easton Express in Pennsylvania, and Great Falls Tribune in Montana.
Bill stepped back from journalism to start a video production company, M-Y Media Productions, Inc. (later MacNeil, Murphy, Rector) and pursue his passion for theater. He served as artistic director of the Williams Carlos Williams Center for the Performing Arts in Rutherford, N.J. where he co-founded the Rivoli Stage Company with Steven Bloom. After moving to Santa Fe in 1994, Bill worked at the Albuquerque Journal North and co-founded Sirius Entertainment with John Nicksic. Both theater companies presented works of “serious fun.”
As a young man, Bill participated in the struggles for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. He said many times that he expected bigotry would be a thing of the past by now. Deeply disappointed, he never lost his capacity for outrage.
Bill lived with heartbreak over the early deaths of two sons, Douglas T. MacNeil and Robert Moses MacNeil. His first marriage to Janie (Jill) James ended in divorce. He is survived by wife Jane (Salodof) MacNeil, son Daniel J. MacNeil, daughters-in-law Laura (Meisenhelter) MacNeil and Carmen (Romero) MacNeil, and grandchildren Dominique Romero, Jonathan (Dominic) Romero, and Angel Sandoval. His family expresses deep appreciation for the care provided by PMS Home Health Care and Hospice Center and the Olivas Sisters in his final days.
Bill will be interred at Santa Fe Memorial Gardens. He did not want a funeral or memorial service, but asked that friends raise a glass in his name, preferably with fine spirits and a good story to tell. In lieu of flowers please hear Bill calling, loudly to the end, for the world to fight back against racism, greed, and all those who would trample other people.
Illustration by William Hogan
|Date of Birth
||April 6th, 1940
|Date of Death
||July 6th, 2017