It is with broken hearts that we announce the passing of Rhodena MacNeil, age 65, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, on Saturday, April 10, 2021, surrounded by her loving family following a long, courageous, battle with Multiple Sclerosis.
Born in Sydney, she was the daughter of the late John Neil and Kathee (MacKenzie) MacKinnon.
Rhodena is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, David MacNeil, who cared for her through her courageous battle with MS. She was always thankful for his devotion and never ending love. She is also survived by her daughter Lisa (Andy) MacNeil, Eastern Passage; son Bernard MacNeil (Julie), Big Beach; by her four precious grandchildren, Alec, A.J., Calder and Sadie Rhodena. Also surviving are two brothers, Michael Angus MacKinnon (Evelyn), Norman MacKinnon (Liz), both of Big Beach and her sister Bernita MacKinnon (Kevin), of Truro. She is also survived by her niece and nephews, and also many grandnieces and grandnephews.
Besides her parents, John Neil and Kathee MacKinnon, she was predeceased by her mother-in-law, Mamie MacNeil, two sisters, Margaret Rose MacNeil and Anne Marie MacMullin; a brother Jimmy MacKinnon, nephew and godson Rodney Neil MacMullin, nephew John C. MacKinnon and by her special aunt and uncle whom she adored, Sarah Catherine ‘Tata’ MacDonald and Johnathon ‘Johnsie’ MacKinnon.
In her earlier years, Rhodena worked in the local store known as Angus MacKenzie’s, and always fondly spoke of that time. While she could, she always took the opportunity to dance. She lived life to the fullest, and was filled with advice about never letting the opportunity pass to have a good time. She was known for her extreme kindness and has left a legacy of resilience, strength, and love as an example of how one should live life. Even through her pain of living with MS for over 40 years, she never complained. She found the joy and love within every day and often laughed until she lost her breath.
Rhodena was known as “Gra” or “Grandma” by her 4 grandchildren, and it was her proudest title. Although her physical abilities were limited in her later years, she was always willing to entertain her grandchildren’s tricks, stories, and games of ‘Eye Spy’ with ease. She provided them all with her undivided attention, as they regularly invited themselves to snuggle next to her to enjoy their treats and a good chat. Nothing gave her greater joy than these visits and hearing stories about their antics. Rhodena beamed with pride whenever she had the chance to talk about them.
A heartfelt thanks is extended from the family to the team of healthcare providers who worked tirelessly to ensure Rhodena’s comfort and quality of life. To the Cape Breton Homecare team and the V.O.N.s who made her comfortable and provided her with daily laughs, we can never repay your kindness. ‘The Queen’ was forever grateful for your compassion and the light you brought into her day. In addition, the care Rhodena received in the Cape Breton Regional Hospital (Unit 4A) was appreciated greatly. The tremendous support for her family during her final hours will never be forgotten. Thank you to everyone who touched her life and made it a life well-lived, and well-loved.
Visitation for Rhodena will be 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, at the Iona Parish Community hall where Covid-19 protocol regarding the wearing of masks and social distancing will be in place. A funeral mass will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, at St. Columba Church, Iona, with Rev. Vargheese Puthuparambil officiating. Limited seating will be available for the service. Burial will follow in St. Barra Cemetery, Christmas Island.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the MS Society of Canada.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of the W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, North Sydney.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.wjdooley.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rhodena (MacKinnon) MacNeil, please visit our floral store.