Paul McNeil, University of Maryland football player and wrestler who never lost a match as a Terrapin, has passed away, his college alma mater announced Wednesday.
McNeil, 93, died at Hospice of the Piedmont, in High Point, N.C. on July 4.
John “Paul” McNeil, Sr., was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. in January 1920. Neil attended the University of Maryland on a football scholarship, but it was on the mats that Neil made a name for himself. From 1939 through 1941, Neil was undefeated in 41 matches. According to the 1941 Terrapin yearbook, Neil won the light-heavyweight title (175 pounds) at the 1941 Southern Conference championships.
Neil was welcomed into the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 “for his exploits on the mat” according to the Maryland wrestling website.
After graduating from Maryland in 1941, Neil entered the U.S. Army. He later joined the Marines, where he was an officer for 27 years, until his retirement in 1969. From 1943 until the end of World War II, he served with the 2nd Marine Division in the Pacific. His obituary in the Greensboro News-Record reports Neil was the first American serviceman to set foot in Yokohama Harbor at the end of World War II, taking surrender papers to Japanese officials there
McNeil also served in the Korean War and Vietnam War, earning numerous citations.
Neil is survived by two sons and a granddaughter; he was preceded in death by his wife Virginia and a middle son. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a later date.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Hospice Home at High Point, 1803 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC 27262. Condolences may be expressed at www.jpmcneil.wordpress.com.
Want to know more? Read the announcement of Paul McNeil’s passing at the official Maryland wrestling website… the Greensboro News-Record obituary… and John Paul McNeil’s blog.
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