John A. McNeice, Jr., noted Boston philanthropist and retired CEO and chairman of the Colonial Group, passed away peacefully at home in Canton on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11, 2021, surrounded by his loving family and devoted caregivers.
John was a former trustee of Boston College, Boston College High School, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Boston. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 61 years, Margarete E. (Aust) McNeice in 2017. Cherished father of Gabriele S. Shaw and her husband, James, of Waltham and Margarete A. Portanova of Wrentham. Doting “Papa” to his grandchildren James Shaw, Erika Lucas, Christopher Shaw, Elisa Shaw, Monika Orifice, Jimmy, Michael and Emma Portanova, and the late Stephen Shaw. Brother of the late Donald McNeice, Joan Church, and Claire McNally.
John began his high school education at North Quincy High but transferred to the school he said changed his life: Boston College High School. Despite having to caddy to make tuition and needing to hitchhike to South Boston to attend, he credits his Jesuit education for molding his future endeavors. After attending Boston College, he enrolled in the Army, was stationed in Germany, and met his wife, Margarete. He adopted Margarete’s daughter Gabriele and then welcomed Margarete Anne nine years later.
An avid golfer, he was a member of Wollaston Golf Club and Milton Hoosic Golf Club. Also a talented photographer, his home is filled with his photographs and slides and slideshows were a common occurrence. First and foremost, his faith was the center of his life. For many years, he was a daily communicant at St. Gerard Majella Church.
John’s family wishes to express their gratitude to Cardinal O’Malley and Father Bill Brown, OMV, for their pastoral visits during John’s illness, and to the Jesuit community, who John credited with his lifelong strong Catholic faith and business success. Also a very sincere thank you to his dedicated caretakers: Kim, David, and Joe Burke, Karla Ericson, Caren Simpson, and Shannon Rhinehart.
Visiting hours will be Thursday, April 15, at the Dockray & Thomas Funeral Home, 455 Washington Street, from 4-7 p.m. Funeral mass will be celebrated Friday, April 16, at 10 a.m. at St. Gerard Mejella Church in Canton. Burial at Knollwood Memorial Park, Canton.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Boston College High School, 150 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125; Oblates of the Virgin Mary, 2 Ipswich St., Boston, MA 02215; the Archdiocese of Boston, 66 Brooks Dr., Braintree, MA 02184; or Our Neighbors in Need, c/o St. Gerard Majella Church, 1860 Washington St., Canton, MA 02021. To sign guestbook, see dockrayandthomasfuneralhome.com.