Tribute: The office joker, always willing to help


McNeill loved to build things and could make anything.

One of OU’s first technology experts, Patrick McNeill, died May 15, according to President Hynd.

Working as an audio visual engineer for classroom support and instructional technical services from 1966 until his retirement in 2005, McNeill installed and maintained electrical equipment in OU’s classrooms and study areas.

“Pat was one of those early pioneers from the staff perspective, so he knew all the original staff and administrators,” said George Preisinger, assistant vice president for technology support client services and a friend and ex-coworker of McNeill. “It was a fairly small place back then.”

McNeill loved to build things and could make anything, Preisinger said. He had a jet engine and kept parts from all sorts of machines.

“He was almost a hoarder,” Preisinger said.

According to Preisinger, McNeill never said no to anyone who needed help, so he was a little grumpy at times.

“He liked to make people think he was a lot grumpier than he was.”

McNeill was also a part-time police officer for the Oxford Village Police until 2005.

“He was basically our weekend warrior,” said Sgt. Mike Solwold, who worked with McNeill on the force for about 10 years.

Solwold said he remembers McNeill as an easy-going guy who was reliable and funny.

“He was a jokester,” Solwold said.

McNeill is survived by his wife Bonita, who worked for OU in the modern language department until 2005, Preisinger said.

“Oakland meant a lot to Pat.”