Age 89 It is with great sadness that we the family announce the passing of Neil on June 6, 2021 at the Dartmouth General Hospital.
Neil was married to Joyce (Cameron) for 66 years, who unfortunately passed away in 2019. Neil was born in Arvida, Quebec to Roderick and Alice MacAskill in April 1932.
He was predeceased by sisters Sadie and Viola and is survived by his siblings, Hugh (Barb), Victor (Margie), Winston (late Racheal) and sister Bernice (Bill) Naylor; sons Dan (Patricia) and Tom; beloved grandchildren Jeff and Kimberley (Sheldon) Lidstone; great grandchildren Paige, Anthony and Ethan Lidstone.
Neil had a 41 year career in the Canadian Armed Forces. As a young seaman in 1950, he started his career in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands. Dad was a crew member on many ships in his early career, one in particular being HMCS Labrador. In 1954 it became the first large Canadian ship to circumnavigate the Northwest Passage and then rounded the continent. It was a total of 18,000 miles. Retiring as Master Warrant Officer in 1975. He said one day he took off his uniform and the next day he transferred to the Supplementary Reserve and took on the role of teaching communications until his official retirement in 1992 as Chief Petty Officer 2.
In he early days Neil participated in coaching ball, hockey and was involved in Scouts. Upon retirement Neil was involved with Halifax Wildlife Association and was a big participant in organizing the first Fish-a-Rama for children at Red Bridge Pond in Dartmouth. This ended up being a yearly event held in June. Neil and Joyce were very involved in Dartmouth Volksmarching. They were also early morning risers counting and watching out for the Piping Plovers. Neil was also very proud of his own locker at the Dartmouth Sportsplex as he was one of the original members.
Neil had his own piece of paradise on Soles Lake, Chezzetcook. He always loved the water and he would be in the water swimming before the ice was out. He had a friendly wave for every passer by and those who were lucky to stop by were greeted with a smile, a joke or two and just maybe a little something to quench your thirst. Due to current COVID restrictions a celebration of Neil’s life will be held at a later date. A private family burial will be held. Memorial donations in Neil’s memory can be made to Diabetes Canada.
Condolences from family and friends
Posted by Liz Godden(smith) | 16-Jun-2021
My sincere condolences from my dad Martin Smith and myself to his family .I will always remember him at our house him coming to our place and arm wrestling with me and my two younger brothers, we never stood a chance but it was fun and the stories he and dad shared from recent trips they were on while sailing on the same ships , RIP old friend
My condolences to Dan, Tom and their families. Neil will always live in my memory, not only for his presence on the lake including his duties as official judge of the Soles Lake Invitational "Troutarama" but also for the memorable salmon fishing trip to Newfoundland with myself and the late Jim Sullivan.