Thursday, 18 April 2024 08:10

Robert D. McNeil Obituary

Robert D. McNeil, 74, of Coatesville, PA, business leader, philanthropist and community activist, passed on Saturday, April 13th at his home, Springbank Farm, after a decade long bout with cancer. The youngest son of Henry S. McNeil and Lois F. McNeil, Bob was raised in Plymouth Meeting, PA, graduating Germantown Academy in 1969, a natural athlete who wrestled and played lacrosse. Bob graduated the University of the South as a history major in 1974. After attending graduate school at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Bob spent 33 years (29 as CEO), growing Penguin Industries, the holding company for nine operating companies including Frank A. Hoppe’s Co., Ott Packaging Inc., Zeks Air Drier Corp. and Load Rite Trailers Inc., as well as a real estate portfolio with investments across multiple asset classes. Bob brought his generosity and business acumen to a long list of organizations across Chester County to make an enduring impact in the community. He devoted countless hours to the Boy Scouts, Community Volunteers in Medicine, Bridge of Hope, Handi-Crafters and the Chester County Food Bank. Under his leadership as Founding Chair, the Chester County Food Bank experienced exponential growth from 2009-2016. A fearless fundraiser, Bob was instrumental in the effort to build the Food Bank’s current 36K sq ft warehouse, a far cry from the two-car garage where it started. At a time of need, Bob brought his respected leadership skills and returned to the helm of Chester County Food Bank from 2020-2024. He was deeply committed to his family, businesses, and the nonprofits he served. Bob liked having fun and sharing in life’s adventures with his broad group of friends and extended family. He was an avid tennis player, bird hunter and golfer. He cherished his time with friends on the court, in the fields and on the golf course. His hunting dogs and pets were an important part of his life. Bob was never one to sit still and strove to excel at everything he did, which included several marathons. He enjoyed challenging family and friends at home and at his other happy place in Buck Hill Falls.

Bob’s love for family was obvious to all who knew him. He was a loving, devoted and caring husband, father and grandfather, never missing a sporting event, graduation or milestone in his children and grandchildren’s lives. Always ready with a joke, a mischievous grin and that twinkle in his eye, Bob made a lasting connection with those who were lucky enough to spend time with him. His generosity and big heart will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues alike. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Cox McNeil, son Tyler McNeil (Ale), daughter Kaitlyn Ward (Marc), five beautiful grandchildren (Isabella, Mackenzie, Chase, Mia and Taylor) and sisters Marjie Findlay (Geoff) and Barbara Jordan. A celebration of life will be held at 11am on Saturday, April 27th at Bob and Jennifer’s home, Springbank Farm at 301 Five PointRoad in Coatesville, PA. [ It’s for Bob, so please be on time!] Bob had a zest for life and loved bright colors. Please feel free to dress accordingly. Donations in memory of Bob can be made in lieu of flowers to The Chester County Food Bank, 650 Pennsylvania Drive, Exton, PA 19341. To leave online condolences, please visit


Last modified on Friday, 19 April 2024 08:13