Margaret James Neill
(1939 - 2013)

Margaret James Neill

March 8, 1939

January 19, 2013

Guest Book
Her husband, Don, and I go back to 1960 at WMU. I lost track of him and he suddenly turned up at St. Luke's Church in Kalamazoo with this woman who he introduced as his wife.

It took little time to restore my relationship to Don, and to fall in love with Margaret. When she discerned a call to the priesthood, she asked for Jean, my wife, and I to be on her discernment committee. Our rector said she couldn't have both members of a couple, so she chose Jean.

Nonetheless, we stood with Margaret through the whole process, Jean officially and me unofficially. We visited her at Nashota and rejoiced at witnessing her graduation.

We witnessed her ordination to the diaconate at St. Luke's and to the priesthood at St. Phillip's. She was our sister who made us proud.

When they came to visit Kalamazoo after they moved to the East Coast, they came to our house and we took them out to dinner because that's what family do.

Margaret's passing diminishes our family but reminds us of gratitude in the beautiful gift of sharing the love of this beautiful woman.
Jim Forrest (Brother in Christ)
June 10th, 2019
Margaret was a friend, spiritual director but most of all a prophet. Her deep spiritual insight brought a sense of shared ministry and excitement to those who were blessed by her presence in their lives. She will be deeply missed by so many.
Sue Schlanbusch (DOK sister)
August 19th, 2013
I was deeply moved and saddened to learn of Margaret's death. I met Margaret at a ECW (St Thomas's, Oriental, NC)at Trinity Center several years ago. She sensed that I was 'in pain' and cried for me...she told me that I have so much love to give...I felt that here was an incredible woman, who was blessed here on earth with an abundance of God's visible Love. She told me she was an Intuit. I have never forgotten her.
I just found out today May 6th that she had gone Home. There is someone I wanted her to meet...I guess she will someday! I pray that Margaret will watch over me on earth from her place in Heaven. She was an unforgettable person...and I am truly honored to have met her! May I see her in Heaven someday!

Paula Valinoti, member of St Thomas parish, Oriental, NC
Paula Valinoti (Fellow Sojourner)
May 6th, 2013
I met Mother Margaret at St. Paul's in Wilmington N.C when I lived there for 2 years.What. blessing she was to me and the Prayer group we had there.
Her memory will live forever in the hearts of those who knew her.
May Her soul rest in Peace.
Yvonne Fraser
Yvonne Fraser (Friend)
April 13th, 2013
Margaret will be deeply missed. She was and is the "Keeper of the Flame. Good FRIENDS are the Shadow of God's Love for us.

I will be seeing you.
For His Sake, M
Marsha Rockwell Hirt (Spirit Sister)
March 9th, 2013
We will. miss you. god bless the family
Dorothy l hall (cousin )
March 7th, 2013
We will. miss you. god bless the family
Dorothy l hall (cousin )
March 7th, 2013
I was honored to serve with Margaret at St. Paul's in Wilmington. Her deep spirituality and powerful sermons moved me powerfully. She was a woman of faith that shown brightly. It was wonderful to be in her company. I will miss her.

Rest with Christ,
The Rev. Deacon Andy Atkinson
Andy Atkinson (Collegue)
February 21st, 2013
I only met Mother Margaret once when she gave the sermon at St. John's in Wilmington. I was overwhelmed with the love that she shared in that sermon. It was like being bathed in the Love of God. There were moments when I literally stopped breathing because I was so wrapped in that Love. Although I spoke briefly to her after the service and didn't really know her on a personal level, I was never the same after that day. I will never forget that experience and feel truly blessed for it.
Kathy Welliver (I didn't really know her.)
February 21st, 2013
Margaret came to Trinity Center at an incredibly important time in the life of the center. She was nurturing to the employees, and she provided us with a powerful spiritual presence when we needed one. She drew people into contemplative prayer, and she built community. She will be missed.
Penn Perry (Fellow employee)
February 21st, 2013
I met Margaret in 1983 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo. She has been my Spiritual Director since that time. I saw miracles and more miracles through her. She was like a mother to me, accepting, nurturing, admonishing, encouraging and loving me without judgement.
I remember early in our relationship when she told me about being taken by God out into the universe as it was expanding and was a thrilling narrative. She often looked off to the side and nodded her head in response to the spirit speaking to her.
One time she gave me a golf lesson even though she never played golf or knew anything about it. She told me to turn and not slide toward the target when hitting the ball. She even demonstrated the move. When I corrected my swing I was able to hit the ball.
I remember when she came to my home and to talk to me about forgiving the church people of my youth for their judgement. I had kept that anger and hurt way down deep. It was needed to begin my journey toward God.
Another time she walked into my house and went to an "out of the way" place where I had been meditating, threw her head back and laughed that I had chosen a good spot. I was dumbfounded how she knew.
At Pelican House Chapel by the Ocean, I saw the Holy Spirit move into her arm shaking it as she held the Sacraments during a Holy Eucharist. I felt that vibration go into my body when she laid her hand on my head for healing.
Margaret saved my life, my marriage and helped my children. She was my mentor and God worked miracles through her for me...more than I deserved.
I am ever grateful to my dear precious Soul Sister, Mother, Priest, Spiritual Director, Teacher and friend.
Thank you, Margaret, for coming to me in a dream after you passed over.
Janet Lambright (close friend)
February 20th, 2013
I am so sad to hear of Margaret's passing, and I wish all of you peace at a difficult time. I will never forget the influence Margaret had at Grace St. Paul's Church during her stay in Tucson. She was a wonderful and intense spiritual presence, and I feel that she thoroughly re-directed my spiritual path.

Chris Eastoe
Christopher J. Eastoe
February 20th, 2013
Our relationship with "Mother" Margaret began after we as a parish had been thrust into a period of spiritual darkness. God led us to her door step to ask her to serve as our Interim Priest and lead us back to a state of "Grace" . The change in our spiritual lives was miraculous. In many ways we are who we are who we are today because of her efforts. We will remain forever grateful for the time she spent among us.

God give her Peace

Nelson Phillips
St. Pauls , Muskegon MI
Nelson Phillips
February 20th, 2013
Rev Margaret served the Lord well in Western Michigan. The fruits of her labor are still evident. May she rest in peace and rise up in glory. Fr. Joseph Neiman
Fr. Joseph Neiman
February 20th, 2013
When I think of Margaret I remember her warmth, her smile and her eyes. There was such love, depth and wisdom in her face. I remember when she decided to go to seminary and we talked about it and she asked what my experience was like as a married couple. If I remember correctly she also talked to Nancy as some Diocesan event. This day I feel deeply the loss of a friend and companion in the Way. You all are in my prayers. May God bless and keep you in the shelter of his hand. David Pike
David R. Pike
February 20th, 2013
When I was a seminarian at Nashotah House in the late 1990s, Don and Margaret visited me and my wife, Sylvia. We spent a lovely afternoon together, and I was greatly heartened by Margaret's memories of her student days at The House and how she persevered and survived. God bless her. She is surely embraced by Our Lord.
The Rev. Thomas Guback
Northport MI
The Rev. Thomas Guback
February 20th, 2013
May you take great comfort in all of the tributes to our dear Margaret from friends, family, and those who knew her as the gift of God in our lives. She was, and will continue to be, a blessing to so many. Please know that you are in my prayers and those of my congregation as I grieve the loss of my dear friend. Sent with much love, Karen Joy Kelly
The Rev Karen Joy Kelly
February 20th, 2013
Dear Don and family, I am so sad that Mother Margaret has passed away - just as I was when she left Grace St. Paul's in Tucson. Her presence here as interim Assoc. Rector was truly a gift from God. People packed the church to hear her sermons - and really, to be near her. She inspired me and everyone so profoundly that I'm certain she changed a lot of lives despite being here for months, rather than years. You both will remain in my prayers as well as those of everyone whom she touched. Bless you.
Jane Conlin,
Jane Conlin
February 20th, 2013
Margaret was such a blessing to the people of Grace St Paul's, Tucson AZ during her time as our interim associate rector in 2004-2005. We still remember her gifted preaching and the deep spiritual companionship she provided during a difficult time of transition in our congregation with a great deal of love and affection. We are holding Margaret, you and all your family in our prayers.
Peace and blessings, Catherine Penn Williams
Catherine Penn Williams
February 20th, 2013
Dear Don - My heart goes out to you and to your extended family! Margaret helped Gwen and me immeasurably as welcomer/secretary at the Cathedral (you were a welcomer, too!), as witness at Nashotah, as fellow priest. She effected deep spiritual growth at St Paul's, Muskegon (Richard Charles Ford never ceased to sing her praises). As the moment seemed to call forth , she was humble, direct, funny, earthy, sophisticated, confrontational, an advocate, a reconciler, a pioneer, a woman of deep intellect and spirit. The fire of the Divine Mystery was manifest in her almost continually. You were her cohort, her foil, her lover....her companion for the "better" of life and through the "worse of life". She is home now.....dynamic rest, I wager! You know how best to honor her, and you will do just that. I write with sorrow and love....her realm, your realm, God's realm - John B Hills, Grand Haven, MI
John Hills
February 20th, 2013
During the time that Margaret spent at Grace St. Paul's she brought so much to our lives. I wish that she had been with us for a longer period of time. I know that she will be so missed by her family but she is in a place without pain or difficulties. God be with her family at this time.
Priscilla Walker
February 20th, 2013
“When you remember me, it means you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. I means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.”
― Frederick Buechner
Karen Atwill (Friend)
February 20th, 2013
Trinity Center was honored to have Mother Margaret as our part time chaplain for several years. She started prayer groups here and lead many spiritual retreats, in addition to offering Holy Eucharist on Tuesdays in our Julian Chapel. I remember most how she could change her voice from high to very low to get everyone's attention. It worked. Rest in Peace, Margaret.
Trinity Center
February 20th, 2013
Mother Margaret has blessed our lives from the time she arrived at St. Paul's in Wilmington, NC. To be able to say she was our friend is a honor! I will never forget her wonderful laugh! This earth was blessed by her prayers and life!
Patsy & George Perhala (Friend)
February 19th, 2013
We named our oldest daughter after Margaret. She has some of the same empathetic and giving spirit as her namesake. Margaret Neill will be greatly missed here on earth.
Catherine Laton (friend)
February 19th, 2013
Margaret blessed our home in the mid '80's when she came with love and prayers for my husband David. A short visit, but I've never forgotten her graciousness and kind heart. May she rest in peace with her Lord.
Corky O'Rourke Thomas (Acquaintance)
February 19th, 2013
This is the memorial I set up for Margaret Neill. To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Lori Dowd
February 18th, 2013
27 entries
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"A woman to follow in her foot steps, so close to God at all times, bringing others with her as she went. Loved by many, her loss to us is only a gain for her, to be closer to her, our, God. Mother Margaret My love for you holds no bounds."
Judith Bradley
February 19th, 2013


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