Carla Rae McNeil, 76, passed away on January 8, 2022, in Panama City, Florida. She was born September 12, 1945, in rural Dayton, Ohio, to Robert and Mary Stoner. Growing up on a farm in a tight-knit community taught her the value of having a close family and the joy one can gain from hard work. As a child, Carla’s parents taught her to never shy away from doing or saying what was right, to fight for those she loved, and to be a proud American. As an adult, she lived a life full of adventure, traveling from coast-to-coast, until settling down in Panama City and marrying the loves of her life: Bill McNeil and their seven children.
Arizona Chemical Company in Panama City is where she worked for many years until she began working at the Florida Department of Children and Families, where she continued to work until her death. Carla’s free time was spent visiting ancestral sites around the Florida Panhandle with her husband, attending events at Hiland Park Baptist Church, going to craft fairs, and attending soccer/ball games or dance recitals of her many great-grandchildren. She loved to give gifts and never wanted you to make a fuss over it--just seeing your face light up and a tight hug were all the thanks she wanted. Carla was a creative, crafty woman who made treasured heirlooms when her grandchildren were young: individualized wooden Easter baskets that they’ve now passed to their children.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Robert and Terry Lee Stoner, sister-in-law Barbara Stoner, and nieces Nora Craig and Tonya Stoner.
Carla is survived by her husband of 36 years, Willie “Bill” McNeil, Jr. and their seven children: Steve (Linda) McNeil, Julie McNeil, Laurie (Rusty) Russell, Susie (Lindsey) Fickling, Angie (George) Roberts, Tim McNeil, and Jim McNeil. She is also survived by their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom she loved dearly and doted on: Jim (Christa) Colvin and their son, Melanie (Shawn) Samac and their four children, Garrett (Michaela) Dollar and their daughter, Alex (Heidi) Griner and their son, Ryan (Heather) Russell, Lacey (Cole) Blackwell and their two sons, Mallory (Philip) Sullivan and their two sons, Kelsey (Sean) Little and their four children, TJ McNeil and his two children, and Jonathan (Meghan) McNeil and their daughter. Also, Carla is survived by her brothers’ families and their many great-grandchildren: Deanna (Terry) Stoner and their daughter Lahela (Erik) Snyder, Reah (David) Stevens, Terry (Robert) Tucker, Robert (Deann) Stoner, Lee Ann (Bill) France-Parsons, and Mahon (Gabrielle) Curran.
A memorial service will be held at Kent Forest Lawn Funeral Home on January 22, 2022 at 1 p.m. with the family receiving visitors beginning at 12 p.m. before the service.
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