For shortly more than five weeks Neish fought an unrelenting battle against the liver cancer and congestive heart failure that would ultimately take his life. Neish struggled till the very end to maintain the independence and dignity that defined the gentleman that he was.
In October of 1932 he was born in Killarney, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland. Neish became the second of six children of Mel and Sean Gantly. Raised in Dublin, Neish was proud of the education he received. Fluent in Gaelic, Latin, and of course English, Neish taught himself French, German and Spanish, and was consequently a confident world traveler.
Always looking for a challenge to his intellect, Neish voraciously followed national and international news and politics. Neish loved to delve into the issues of the day, and once he had formed an opinion was delighted at every opportunity that presented itself to share and debate that opinion. However no intellectual challenge brought him greater delight than taking on and ultimately conquering a good crossword puzzle. Neish took great pride at solving even the most devious of clues, then regaling the family with his tales of dogged determination as he searched his resources for the solution.
Neish possessed a strong work ethic, a commitment to the highest ethical standards, and a determination to speak his mind to ensure that nothing he committed to was done to less than perfection. These qualities served him well through long and distinguished careers with both the Provincial Civil Service and the University of Alberta. Neish enjoyed his professional life so much that he continued working on a daily basis until well past his mid-seventies.
Neish was predeceased by his parents, Mel and Sean, his wife Celine, his youngest daughter Christine, his brother Arden, and his sisters Deidre and Eimear.
Left to mourn his loss are his children, Glenn (Judy), Anne Marie Laban (Ron), John, and Mark (Waiman). He leaves behind two grandchildren, Kerri, and Sean. He is also survived in Ireland by his two brothers Oscar, and Fergus, and numerous nephews and nieces.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at St. Joseph’s Basilica 10044-113 St, Edmonton with cremation to follow and a burial in the family plot at a later date.
In memory of Neish, donations may be made to Covenant Health c/o Caritas Hospitals Foundation, 3C60, 11111 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, AB, T5K 0L4.