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Ian Lawrence McNeil

posted Jun 11, 2017, 4:19 PM by Christine Roman
June 9, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Many of you have read my corner for several years and have heard stories of my nieces, nephews and godchildren. It has become a tradition that I celebrate them when they graduate from high school. Well, I can’t believe I am writing my piece for my nephew, Ian. 

Ian is my twin sister’s first born. Since I am very close to my sister, I have been fortunate to have experienced and shared many memories with Ian and his family. Ian was a happy baby and won over the hearts of many with his red hair and giggle. Once he started walking, there was no stopping him. We spent many summer days over at my parents’ trailer and I can recall my father walking with Ian all around the campground. They must have walked at least 3 miles every visit. As the years have gone by, Ian now drives over to camp and enjoys time with my parents on their porch. Ian has inherited my dad’s quick one-liners and ability to carry on conversations involving current events and sports.

Growing up with a mother and aunt who were athletes, Ian started to play sports at an early age. I would travel over to watch tee-ball and little-kid soccer games. From the beginning, I could see that Ian did not receive the dominant athletic gene in his DNA. However, his smile, effort and sportsmanship made up for his lack of coordination. Ian’s true gift in athletics has been as a peer athlete in unified sports. I loved going to his games to watch his interactions with his teammates, effort on the court, and his leadership throughout the games. It is my hope that he continues to pursue these opportunities in college. Over the years, Ian became interested in following professional and collegiate sports. It is now fun to verbally debate and text him about teams and players.

I have fond memories of our vacations to Disney, California, Six Flags, and the Basketball Hall of Fame. I am “the carrier of the bags”, as Ian loves to ride rollercoasters and crazy rides. I remember the time we rode Splash Mountain over and over because there was no line, and the time we rented a red convertible and Ian and his sister, Maggie, had to wear several layers of jackets while sitting in the back seat because my sister and I wouldn’t put the top up. 

Ian cares about his family and understands the importance of compassion, honor and commitment. As his grandparents have grown older, Ian can often be seen walking Pup-Pup to his car, taking the trash out for Nana H., sitting with his Nana M., listening to stories from the lake, and watching Fox News with Pop. Ian’s favorite week as a camp counselor at Fatima is Exceptional Citizen Week when children and adults with special needs attend camp. Ian’s patience, understanding, and sense of humor make him a favorite lifeguard and counselor during this time. Earning his Eagle Scout was a huge undertaking. Through that journey, Ian had amazing experiences (climbing a glacier in Alaska, West Point trips) and role models (Mr. Webber, Mr. Gebheart) in helping to develop his character and work ethic.

Ian, I am so proud of all the things you have already accomplished and what a great young man you have become. I can’t wait to see what comes next in your adventure at Keene State. I am honored to be your aunt. Love you, E-bug!