Donald Gregory McNiel, 67, died Tuesday, March 14, 2017 in Fatima Hospital, North Providence. He was the devoted husband of Beverly Ann (Torti) McNiel. They had been married for forty-two years.
Born in Providence, he was a son of Robert and Clementina (Toselli) McNiel. He had worked as a stockbroker for Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Providence for thirty years before retiring.
In his spare time, Donald enjoyed fishing and boating. He was a faithful member of the Smithfield Sportsman’s Club, as well as the Narragansett Salt Water Fishing Club. He was also a big fan of sports, especially the New England Patriots. He provided Patriots season tickets for his family every year since 1993, and was overjoyed to have witnessed the Patriots make the greatest comeback in football history this past year during Super Bowl LI. He also loved and cared for his two dogs, Maci and Bailey.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his sons, Kyle D. McNiel of Warwick, Eric K. McNiel of Oakland, California, and Tyler J. McNiel of Greenville, as well as his beloved grandson, Jackson and his sister, Joyce Johannis of Saunderstown.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, March 20th at 9:30am in St. Philip Church, 622 Putnam Pike, Greenville. Burial will follow in Highland Memorial Park Cemetery, Johnston. Visitation will be held Sunday, March 19th from 2-4 pm in the Anderson-Winfield Funeral Home, Route 44 at Greenville Common, Greenville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 15829, Arlington, VA 22215 or online at www.diabetes.org.
My Brother’s Eulogy
Donald, a drummer, a coin collector, a fisherman, a Theta Delta Chi brother, a Bojangle’s Pub Owner, a stockbroker, a husband, father, grandfather, nephew, cousin, brother-in-law, father-in-law, friend, grandfather, uncle, son and my big brother. In our early childhood days on Nelson Street, I have some great memories of climbing trees, building snow forts and sledding with my brother. We both went to St. Lawrence School, and he always looked out for me, especially when my mother put him in charge of walking me home from school when we moved to Progress Avenue. He would hold my hand and he would share his allowance with me by stopping at Borelli’s Bakery. He would buy me anything I wanted…10 cent pizza strips or a lemon square. Those were the days.
Donn was interested in music like our mother Tina and he took drumming lessons every week for a long time. He stuck with it and practiced day and night in our basement on Progress Avenue and drove my parents and I crazy with the loud noise. He formed his own band called “The New Breed” and they traveled around and played music here and there are parties. As I reflect, I looked up to him and all of his handsome band members, thinking that he was my big brother the rock and roll star!
I went to Bay View and so did my friend Beverly from across the street. It wasn’t long that my brother started to date Bev. After La Salle, he went to URI and joined Theta Delta Chi and graduated with a degree in engineering. My brother was very smart and had a good sense of humor and he enjoyed his college days. Shortly after he graduated, he proposed to Bev and they were married. He became a stockbroker and started working at Janney Montgomery Scott and would go on to become the vice president of the company. He had a successful career and provided well for his family. Both Donn and Bev worked hard to raise their sons: Kyle, Eric and Tyler.
All in all, my brother was a simple person who was not into buying lots of fancy things. He loved fishing, football, his home, his grandson, Jackson Brady, his dogs and his family. Although my brother was a man of few words and a bit rough around the edges, I know deep down in his heart that he was a decent person who loved his boys, his grandson, all of his family members and most of all, his wife, Bev. So as we lay my brother to rest in peace, let us remember the good memories we had with him. From my brother’s passing, let us be reminded to live each day well and rejoice in it, be kind to one another, practice the art of forgiveness when we can, and don’t forget to smell the roses along the way.