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Official Obituary of

Neil McCauley

September 26, 1943 ~ March 4, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Neil McCauley Obituary

On Monday March 4, 2024, Neil McCauley, loving husband and father of three children, passed away at the age of 80.  Neil was born on September 26, 1943, to Emmett and Margaret McCauley in Aurora, Illinois.  He grew up on the family farm in Oswego with his four brothers Rodney, Bill, David, and Bob.

Neil leaves behind his wife Lynn (“Penny”), to whom he was married for 57 years.  Together they had three children, the oldest of which is Sue (Mike) Marrinan and their children Meghan (Caeleb) Dressel - who recently gave birth to Neil’s first Great-Grandchild August Wilder Dressel, and Danny, who currently resides in Jacksonville, FL.  Neil’s middle child is Tom (Mindy) McCauley, of Carbondale, Colorado, and their two children Drew and Kendall.  The youngest child is Patti (Marc) Wietting, and they have three children: Maddie, Kailey, and Brady and reside in Joliet, Illinois.  Neil is survived by his brother Bob McCauley and wife Kathy, of Grand Island Nebraska, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Neil attended Oswego High School, graduating in 1961, and participated in various athletics and 4H.  He continued his athletic career at Western Illinois University where he lettered in Wrestling.  He graduated from WIU in 1965 with a degree in Physical Education, taking his first job as a PE teacher and Football & Wrestling coach at Naperville Community High School.  When the school split to form Naperville North in 1970, he moved over and to help launch the athletic program as a football and wrestling coach, and to serve as the Instructional Coordinator for Health & PE.  NNHS began fielding varsity teams in the 1975-76 academic year, although with very limited success as there were no seniors on any roster. Neil hung up his coaching whistle in 1977 to become the school’s second athletic director and spent the next 26 years building the Huskie program into an athletic powerhouse across the state of Illinois.  By the time he had retired in 2003, the Huskies had won 11 team state championships and over 50 individual state titles.  Neil believed those humble beginnings directly contributed to the success that current Huskies now experience. 

While his list of accolades was a long one, including being inducted into the Illinois Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, the Illinois Wrestling Coaches & Officials Hall of Fame, and having the entire Athletic Complex at Naperville North named in his honor, his contributions were felt much further than the athletic fields, courts, and pools.  Neil took a particular passion in developing young athletes and preparing them for leadership positions which awaited them further in life, and he targeted passionate coaches who shared that same vision.  He firmly believed that athletic participation was a privilege and not an entitlement, and while sometimes not popular, he never wavered from that philosophy and the responsibilities that come with the title of “student-athlete”. 

Neil was also a long-time member at Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville, serving in various roles, but none more important than ensuring his children understood and appreciated the role of Jesus in their lives.  Upon his retirement in 2003, Neil and his wife spent much of their time enjoying the country, traveling back and forth between Naperville and Sun City West, Arizona.  This continued for almost 17 years until they decided to become full-time Arizona residents in 2021.  While Parkinsons Disease may have claimed increasing portions of his final years, he was able to ward that off by working the boxing bags at Benavilla, a non-profit adaptive gym in Surprise, AZ.  For now, the family is tentatively planning on a Celebration of Life back home in Illinois in fall of 2024, but until then for those wishing to make a donation in honor of Neil, the family would be grateful if you would consider supporting Benevilla at https://benevilla.org/donation.

 

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Neil McCauley

September 26, 1943-March 4, 2024




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In Loving Memory Of

Neil McCauley

September 26, 1943-March 4, 2024




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Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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