Fremont 'Monty' C. MacNeill

PORTLAND - Captain Fremont 'Monty' C. MacNeill of Cape Elizabeth died Mar. 1, 2005 at the Seaside Nursing Facility in Portland after a brave fight with cancer.

Monty was born at Leonardville New Brunswick, Canada, on Mar. 8, 1929, son of Edgar C. and Hattie L. Conley MacNeill. He attended Deer Island and South Portland schools.

He married Minnie A. Rich of Chebeague Island on Aug. 22, 1955.

Monty was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, Donald and Frankie, and a sister Ruth Plaisted Moore.

He followed in his fathers footsteps and captained the Sardine Carrier the Conqueror for R. J. Peacock Canning Co. in Portland for 22 years. He also captained boats for Stinson Canning Co. of Bath for 20 years. He carried sardines up and down the coast of Maine for a lot of fisherman during his career. His love was for the sea, after his retirement he spent many days watching the water at Bug Light with his many friends including Georgie, Reggie, Earle, Roy and Ian.

Monty loved his family very much and always kept them close to his heart.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years. Monty is also survived by his son; Donald MacNeill of South Portland, his wife Patricia and grandchildren Ceili, Thomas, Michael and James; and daughters, Linda Wainwright of Canton and her husband David and grandchildren Davis, Christopher, Nicholas & Mary-Elizabeth and great-grandchildren Ellie, Jonathan and Hillary; Cathy MacNeill of Chebeague Island and her partner Nathan Doughty; Cindy Riddle of Chebeague Island and her husband Bruce and step-grandchildren Vicki and Sarah and stepgreat-grandchild Cameron; Debbie Droggitis of Biddeford and her husband George and grandchildren Dustin, and Zoe; Nancy Derby of Cumberland and husband Joseph III and grandchildren, Karly, Jodie, and Mindy; Julie Doughty of Chebeague Island and her husband Edmund and grandchildren Joshua and Dylan; Lisa MacNeill of Westbrook and her partner Jeff and grandchildren Ruben and Holden; sisters, Donna Pride of Peru, Maine, and Helen Leaman of South Portland; along with several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at Hobbs Funeral Home 230 Cottage Rd., South Portland. A celebration of Monty's life will be Friday, 10 a.m., at the funeral home Pastor Glen Coombs from the Chebeague Island United Methodist church will officiate. Interment to follow at Forest City Cemetery South Portland. A reception to follow at the Hobbs Hospitality Center.

Those who wish can make a donation to:

The Island Commons
132 Littlefield Road
Chebeague Island, Maine 04017

Fremont MacNeill, 75, well-respected sardine boat captain

CAPE ELIZABETH - Fremont "Monty" MacNeill, who captained sardine carriers for the R.J. Peacock Canning Co. in Portland and the Stinson Canning Co. in Bath for more than 40 years, died Tuesday. He was 75.

Mr. MacNeill had a love for the sea that dated back to his youth. He grew up at Willard Beach in South Portland, the son of a sardine boat captain. At an early age, he learned how to man a vessel and have respect for the sea. He started taking boats out on his own as a teenager.

Like his father, he captained the sardine carrier Conqueror for R.J. Peacock, where he worked for 22 years.

His son Donald MacNeill of South Portland said he had a calm and peaceful manner and was highly respected by his co-workers.

"He called everyone 'dear,' " his son said. "He was a typical old-time fisherman. I had so much respect for him. It was amazing . . . all the guys in the business looked up to him. He was so good at what he did. He had a lot of common sense and did what needed to be done."

Mr. MacNeill captained sardine vessels for Stinson Canning Co. for 20 years. He carried sardines from Portland to Eastport for many fisherman during his career. He took pride in being a captain and worked hard to overcome the challenges he faced in the fishing industry.

His son, who worked with him for about 14 years, said his job was stressful. During some trips, the catch weighed the deck down to the water level, he said.

"He amazed me," his son said. "He was the best. . . . It's a young man's game, and he held his own."

Mr. MacNeill was at sea for as long as a week at a time, and he always looked forward to returning home. In 1955, he married Minnie Rich of Chebeague Island. In addition to his wife, he leaves eight children.

His son said he was a great father and a special person who touched many lives. "Different people have said how many hearts he broke as a young man. He has broken a lot of hearts now. He led a good life. . . . There are a lot of people hurting."

At 62, Mr. MacNeill retired. He liked spending time by the water at Bug Light with his friends.

He was a good friend, said Earl Bridges of South Portland, who met Mr. MacNeill when they were 11 years old. Bridges said he enjoyed his company and taking trips to his camp in Burlington, Vt., where they hunted deer.

"I'll miss his company," Bridges said. "He has been a very good friend to me for all these years. We did a lot together."

- Melanie Creamer