Home 9 Obituaries 9 Robert Arthur MacNeille, Jr.

Robert Arthur MacNeille, Jr.

January 11, 1937 - April 12, 2018

Robert Arthur MacNeille, Jr. Robert Arthur MacNeille, Jr.
  • May 19, 2018 | 2:00 P.M.
  • First Congregational Church of Geneva 321 Hamilton Street Geneva
  • Burial Location

Robert Arthur MacNeille, Jr. died peacefully on April 12, 2018 in Geneva, Illinois. Bob was born January 11, 1937 in Evanston, Illinois to Margaret Whitsett MacNeille and Robert Arthur MacNeille as the eldest son of an active family. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Geneva, Illinois. Bob’s school years were full of adventure. His household was always bustling with his two older sisters, Diane and Jeanne, and his younger brothers, Ted and Doug. He loved the farm life of the Fox Valley, where he spent many years with his cousin tending to family farms and raising Angus cattle.

He graduated Geneva High School, Class of 1955, where he was president of the student council, co-captain of the football team and active in basketball and track.

Bob attended Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, where he graduated in 1959 with a degree in engineering. His college years were an exhilarating mix of academics, social events (Tower Club) and sports (rugby).

Bob then chose to pursue his Master of Business Administration degree at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, Illinois, while also starting his business career at St. Charles Manufacturing Company in St. Charles, Illinois. Upon graduating with his MBA degree in 1961, Bob joined St. Charles full time.

St. Charles “Kitchens” was a manufacturing company specializing in steelcase cabinetry that was founded by Bob’s grandfather, Clarence MacNeille in 1935 and later led by Bob’s father, Robert MacNeille. Bob applied his dedicated, tireless work ethic to a variety of roles during a period of rapid growth when St. Charles developed a nationwide network of kitchen dealers and designers. In 1970 Bob ascended to the role of President, expanding the company to an international scale. He held this position until 1986 when the company was sold to Whirlpool Corporation.

At the same time as launching his career, Bob also started a family. He married the “girl across the street”, Diane Ellsworth of Geneva, Illinois in 1962. Diane and Bob chose to settle in St. Charles, Illinois where they had three children together: Richard (b. 1963), Roderick (b. 1965) and Amy (b. 1969). Bob was a devoted husband and father who actively and enthusiastically participated in a wide variety of activities with his family – from adventurous family vacations to numerous sporting events to academic pursuits. Family always came first.

Bob somehow also found time to be an active member of his community and church. His volunteerism included leadership positions on the St. Charles Community Chest, St. Charles Park Board, and the Norris Cultural Arts Commission. In 1967 Bob was a founding member of the TriCity Family Services counseling agency which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. Bob also served with the St. Charles Rotary Club, St. Charles School District, YMCA, Salvation Army and the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce. In 1984 Bob was honored to receive St. Charles’ highest accolade, the Charlemagne Award For Outstanding Service to the Community.

In his later career, in 1987, Bob founded and served as President of Charlestowne Kitchen & Bath where he worked with his son, Rod and wife, Diane to build a fully integrated fabricator, distributor, designer and installer of residential and commercial kitchens and baths. Bob managed a skilled team which conducted exceptional work throughout the Chicago area.

Upon his retirement in 2008, Bob directed his energies toward woodland restoration work at his family home and added new volunteer opportunities at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in St. Charles. He relished having more time to visit his grandchildren and extended family across the country.

Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Diane Ellsworth MacNeille; three children: Richard MacNeille (Karen Hellmich) of Winchester, MA; Roderick (Larissa) MacNeille of St. Charles; and Amy MacNeille of St. Charles; eight grandchildren: Emma MacNeille, Charlotte Malling, Betsy MacNeille, Katherine Malling, Margaret MacNeille, Andrew Malling, Ryan MacNeille and William MacNeille. He is also survived by two sisters, Diane MacQueen and Jeanne Martin of Hilton Head Island, S.C. and one brother, Doug MacNeille, also of Hilton Head Island.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Clarence “Ted” MacNeille.

Memorial services celebrating Bob’s life will be held May 19, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. at the First Congregational Church of Geneva, 321 Hamilton Street, Geneva, IL. A reception will be held following the service.

Donations may be made to TriCity Family Services, 1120 Randall Court, Geneva IL 60134, in honor of Bob MacNeille.


Douglas W MacNeille from Hilton Head Island, SC

"Although my big brother Bob already in high school and then college during my "formative years", he set a fine example for his little brother and often as my protector during conflicts with my late middle brother Ted. I have grown close with Diane, their three children and their grandchildren in recent years. Bob will most certainly be missed, while remembered fondly by his family and friends."

Wade MacNeille from Gilbert, AZ

"Always admired Uncle Bob in so many aspects. After my father Ted passed in 1993 I took every opportunity to visit with him and gain some wisdom and advice I so desperately needed. Had many wonderful memories of him and his family through the years. Miss you Uncle Bob,"

Daniel Gratzke from Oswego, IL

"Bob, you were a great boss and gave a kid a chance when he most needed it. Because of you I have a career and also a great work ethic which I learned from you. Thank you for all you have done for me and may you rest in peace."

Dick and Kari Knott from Parker, CO

"Bob was a good friend and teammate. Sorry for Diane, his children and grandchildren. J am happy he passed peacefully. The 50s and 60s were great years. I hope like me he did it his way and I know the end is near in the words of Frank Sinatra and at peace with that. Also grateful for the kindness of Diane and her friends shown to my dear sister."

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