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Shirley McNeilly

December 5th, 1933 - July 17th, 2022
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MCNEILLY - Shirley Marie (Rioux) passed away peacefully on 17 July 2022 8:22 pm.

Born in Winnipeg on 5 December 1933, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Josephine (Jesse nee Marek) Rioux. She was predeceased by husband James (Jim) Robert McNeilly, brother Earl (Noreen) Rioux.

Shirley will be sadly missed by her sister Doreen (Orville); sister Jeanne, daughters; Gerry (Steve), Linda (Ted), grandchildren; Tom, Deanna and Victoria, niece Linda (Randy), nephew Bill (Ronnie), nephew Kelly (Charlotte), nephew Leonard (Nina), nephew Jamie and her best friend Alice & Mary & Peter.

Shirley had a beautiful smile and a twinkle in her eye. She had a sharp wit and a great sense of humour. She always made others feel important and welcome. Shirley will always be remembered for her graciousness, gentleness and generosity that made everyone feel important and welcome.

Thank you to Dr Gregory J McAnulty and the Nurses and the Care Aids and the Social Workers for their outstanding care. As well deep gratitude to Queen’s Park Care Centre, New Westminster, BC.

No service by request; In lieu of flowers a donation can be made to Queen's Park Care Home.


Jamie McNeilly
September 22nd, 2022

Hello I wanted to add my Uncle Jim's Obituary & details about Jim & Shirley's life.

Jim McNeilly

12 December 1930 - 8 November 2003

Hold on to what is good
Even if it is a handful of earth

Hold on to what you believe
Even if it is a tree which stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do
Even if it is a long way from here.

Hold on to life
Even when it is easier letting go.

Hold on to my hand
Even when I have gone away from you.

Pueblo verse

Jim McNeilly was born on December 12th, 1930 to Margaret and Isaac in Winnipeg. It was the dead of winter and not much to do but when Jim was born it gave Walter, Leonard and Margaret someone else to pick on. Four seemed to be the magic number for the McNeillys and the children that ensued to this healthy Catholic couple seemed to come in fours: after Jim, there was Rita, Joan, Sheila and Peter; the next four were Annie, Mike, Judy and Patsy. In all, now there was a dozen good eggs!

Jim always worked hard, his father used to ask Jim to haul coal with him at a very early age. Jim, therefore grew up strong and self-sufficient and he had a great work ethic. Anyone who needed something done could ask Jim and he would comply.

One night when Jim was 12 years old, his dad asked him to drive the family truck home while he went to sleep in the back. The R.C.M.P. stopped him and asked what he was doing. Jim replied, "I'm driving my dad home." The officers said he was too young to do that and so tried to drive the truck home themselves but couldn't! So, they compromised and Jim drove the truck home as he was told to do by his dad, while he was accompanied with a full escort of those Royal Canadian Mounted Police !

This, then was the beginning of Jim and his love affair with trucks and truck driving. However, often the love affair would turn sour. Jim had a quick, explosive temper (of which we all know) and so Jim would quit more jobs than he worked. However, he was an industrious, hard-working man and so well respected by his co-workers and employers, that he was always re-hired without much ado. In fact, to quote Jim himself, "I backed up more miles than some people have driven."

When I was 12 years old, I recall a night trip with Uncle Jim. We went through the Fraser Canyon, full moon above, wintered, glistening roads below. Uncle Jim drove without headlights. I was so impressed by his ability to handle such an enormous vehicle as though it was a mere kid's toy car. The night was magical and the sounds of the18 freight trains that passed still echo in my mind today. It seemed as though the whole world belonged just to me and my big Uncle Jim! We often spoke about this trip even up to the present.

However, our heyday was short-lived. At 13, I called Uncle Jim a hypocrite and for six months Jim refused to speak to me. This six month sentencing from Uncle Jim was another trait. For he did the same thing to my dad and others in the family he would get upset at. Sometimes it was over really important matters of the world like the use of ketchup... he stopped talking to my dad for six months because my dad would add ketchup to everything on his plate and Jim found this offensive. He said, "Peter you should taste the food first, then add the ketchup."

Peter however, being as stubborn as his brother, kept on pouring. Thus, the six month sentence of non-communication!

In 1971, an extraordinary event occurred at Peter's house on Worthington Drive, a gorgeous and kind blond walked into Jim's life. Her name was Shirley. Immediately, both were love-struck. He was so handsome with that Clark Gable look, but Shirley had to return to her work in Toronto and she never thought she would see him again. But, this time the fates were kind, and in 1972 however, there was a family reunion at Aunt Doreen's cottage in lngulf Ontario. Everyone there recalls how dapper Jim looked that night and so in control, driving the store boat to that cottage in the dark with only the lights of the cottages to guide him!
He won Shirley's heart over and they were married on February 23rd, 1973 and

have been inseparable since.

When they were first married, that six month sentence came into play re Shirley's cooking for whenever she would try to cook something new and he didn't like it, Jim would say, "That was okay but don't make it again for six months." Shirley's admiration grew for her husband when they went together to work at a logging camp for a year. There was no piece of machinery there including log-booms and log loaders that Jim wouldn't master in a short time for he was so brilliant when it came to anything mechanical!

One could always rely on Jim if he was needed. For instance, there was nothing he didn't do for his beloved Shirley when she broke her shoulder-he would cut her meat, her grapefruit and provide her with anything he could. And, when his brother Peter was in palliative care, Jim was by his side on a daily basis.

Jim got along with all his neighbours at 5550 Beresford and he delivered the newspapers there. He had a ready smile for everyone even though his grin showed his lack of teeth! He was always ready to help anyone in distress but the rogue that he was, as with most of us McNeillys, showed favouritism to damsels­ in-distress especially those with car trouble. He was also a patient teacher, teaching his favourite brother, Peter, to drive a truck and me, his favourite nephew to play pool.

Jim's life was hard from the beginning. He grew up in a world where "men are men and girls are girls". He was not one without opinions about right or wrong, black or white-there were no grey areas. But there was a softer side to my Uncle Jim too. He was a romantic for his Shirley whom he called "pretty lady" and he would always sign his name when he wrote her notes or letters with a "1,4,3" which meant "I love you".

We will all miss his ways, especially his favourite saying "that's different" when referring to things that to him, were always the same... Our only consolation is that now he is with his beloved brother and best friend Peter, playing crib, no doubt, and yelling about ketchup!

McNeilly, James (Jim) Robert, 72, passed away peacefully
on November 8th, 2003 after a nine year battle with emphysema. He will be sadly missed by his loving wife Shirley;his stepdaughters
Gerry (Steve), Linda (Ted); stepgrandchildren Tom, Deanna and Victoria; brother Mike (Ruby), and sisters Annie (Cliff), Sheila,
Joan, Margaret (Edison), Judy, Patsy (Richard) and favourite nephew Jamie "Lad" and many
other nephews, nieces, dear friends and neighbours.
Please join us for a Memorial service which
will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 29th, 2003
in the Amenity Room at 5550 Beresford Street, Burnaby, B.C.

Linda Marshall
August 12th, 2022

My Mother (aka Shirl the Whirl) was a woman with a kind heart and a great sense of humour. I don't think she had a mean bone in her body. She taught me to always look on the bright side of things, to look for the silver lining, to think optimistically, and look for the good in any situation. I hope that I have instilled those qualities in my daughters Deanna and Victoria. My Mother was very proud of her grandchildren. She did the best that she could raising my sister Gerry and I and she taught us to be independent women just as she was, She will be sorely missed.

Miranda McNeilly
July 31st, 2022

I first met my Great Aunt Shirley in March of 2020 right before Canada and the US went into lockdown. I was visiting Canada for the first time in 20 years. My Uncle Jamie was very close with Shirley and took care of her for the last years of her life. Jamie took myself, my dad and my step-mother to visit Shirley when we were in Canada. Right away I could tell why Jamie got along so well with Shirley, she was very upbeat and completely hilarious. She asked my step-mother if she was a prostitute because of the "fashionable" ripped up clothes she was wearing, and she was convinced I was Jaime's girlfriend. She just couldn't believe that Leonard had managed to have a kid.

I was sad to hear she passed, and I wish I could have seen more of her. Jaime has told me plenty of funny stories about her in the last few weeks, though, to help make up for the little time I got to spend with her.

Bill Jackson
July 27th, 2022

So sad to hear of my Auntie Shirley’s passing. She was part of what I affectionately call the 3 amigos. My Mom Doreen, Aunt Jeannie and Shirley were three sisters who had a very special bond. When they were together there were always lots of laughs, reminiscing about family and the early days in Winnipeg. I will miss you Shirley.

Peter Barnsdale
July 26th, 2022

I am so grateful to have know Shirley for over 20 plus years. She spent every Wednesday at 1:00 pm in my styling chair as I was her hair stylist. I got to share many stories with her over the years about her family, children and her love of music and theatre. We created a bond that I will never forget, she truly became an aunt to me but more so a friend.
Her up beat energy never waned.
I will miss her dearly.

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