Donald MacNeill

25/08/1954 - 01/10/2020

Obituary for Donald MacNeill

Donald Jack MacNeill passed away surrounded by family and friends on October 1, 2020 at the age of 66 years.

Don or “Buzzard” was born on August 25, 1954 in Grande Prairie, Alberta. He grew up in Wembley, later moving to Grande Prairie and was the youngest of 3 children.

Don spent his career in the oil and gas industry where he was instrumental in helping build many successful businesses. He was always quick to give advice and to get many started in their endeavors. He lived for his grandchildren, never missing a hockey game or a chance to spoil them. He loved the sport of chuckwagon racing and watching his son outride. During the summer months he could be found at Evergreen Park or driving around with his partner in crime, Danny, listening to the races.

Don is survived by his wife, Pat Spilchen; his children, Jennifer Krebs (Ryan), Ryan MacNeill and Lindsay (Ben) Acton. He is also survived by stepchildren, Corrie Spilchen (Jodie) and Dale Spilchen (Vanessa); grandchildren Caden, Cole, Dani and Brooklyn, Damien, Seneca, Cyrus, Sable, Ty, Chase and Austin. As well, he is survived by his sister, Evelyn Bartsch (Greg) and sisters-in-law, Maren MacNeill and Leona Loutitt, (Ron); nieces and nephews Tyler MacNeill (Christine), Scott MacNeill (Jennifer), Corie Crittall (Derek), Nicole Shannon and Joey Shannon (Jen).

He is predeceased by his mother Catherine MacNeill, stepfather Pete Christofferson and brother Ron MacNeill.

A Celebration of Life for Don will be held on Thursday, October 8th at 2PM at 13501 99 Street, Grande Prairie.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742

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We are so sorry for your loss. Dang, we will miss his visits at camp at the wagon races! Always do much fun. Gonna miss ya buddy
- Irene Stark
Visits with Donnie were always full of bullshit and laughter! I'm sure Don and Aunt Cora are having a great chuckle together right now. Sending condolences to all the family Don will be missed greatly. Linda and Stephen Connell
- Linda Connell
My thoughts to Don's family .He was a lifelong friend and a true Wembley icon .He would fight , love and party . I'm going to miss his smiling face!
- Bud Olsson
Don and I thought the world of Donnie . He was a great guy. Forever the gentleman. Our hearts and prayers are with you Pat and the kids. - Don and Debbie Golden
- na
Donnie was one of the good ones, always a smile & a laugh. I enjoyed working with him. He will be missed. Sending condolences to all his family. Rest easy my friend
- Jackie Cock
My deepest sympathy to all of you in the loss of Don. Enjoyed lots of laughs and coffee breaks with him I know he will be deeply missed by all. Love Levola
- Levola Sedore

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Who are Funeral Directors and what do they do?

Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What if a death occurs away from my home town?

We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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