William Robert "Wild Bill" Neil was a legend, and will be deeply missed by many.
William Robert "Bill" Neil, 79, of Dallas, Texas passed away on 29 May 2019 at 12:35PM. His sudden heart attack was caused by previously undiagnosed congestive heart failure. Mr. Neil was born in 1939 to Roberta Fitch Neil and William Henry Neil of Brownsville, Texas. He is survived by three children, all living in Dallas, TX: Robert Niles Neil, who assisted with Bill's law practice for decades; JoDee Neil, an attorneyat Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC; and Jenne Neil, who works utility-grade solar projects for City Electric Supply. Bill was "Papa Bill" to his two granddaughters, Naomi and Willa, ages 4 and 2, and proud father-in-law to Stephen Cronin of Dallas. He is also survived by his former wife, Mary Lou Neil.
William Robert Neil built a legendary career as a local trial attorney following his graduation from Highland Park High School, the University of Texas at Arlington, and Southern Methodist University School of Law. He began his legal career in 1967 working for Henry Wade as an Assistant District Attorney. After a stretch of private practice, Mr. Neil moved back to South Texas to serve as the First Assistant at the Cameron County District Attorney's Office. He returned to Dallas in the late 1970's, where he settled into his own practice of family and criminal law. Mr. Neil was Board Certified in both Criminal and Family Law. He served on occasion as an Associate Graduate Professor at the University of Dallas as well as a Dallas Municipal Judge. He was licensed to practice before the highest courts in the land, including the many federal courts in Texas and within the 5th Circuit. He was a member of countless bar associations, former and present, including: Federal Bar, American Bar, Dallas Bar, Texas Trial Lawyers, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Texas District & County Attorneys Association, and Texas Family Law Association, among others.
Besides all of that, Bill was an 8th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do; a Master Mason; and a member of the Dallas Scottish Rite, the State Fair of Texas Parade Committee, Porsche Club of America, Harley Davidson Owner's Group, the Hella Temple, the Shriners, the Jesters, and the Irish-American Society of Dallas.
"Wild Bill" will be sorely missed by all who knew him. He was a devoted father, a generous friend, and a champion to many. He fought for justice, for the rule of law, and for the "little guy." He treated others with respect, with a smile on his face, and with a packet of chewing gum. He was a world traveler, a history buff, and a parade enthusiast. He loved a party and was a great dance partner.
His services will be held at the Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas on 6 June 2019 at 11:00AM. Reception will follow at the church. Burial will be private to the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Dallas Scottish Rite in his name (dallasscottishrite.org; 500 S. Harwood Street, Dallas, TX 75201). Remembrances may be made in the Guest Book at Restland Funeral Home(www.restlandfuneralhome.com)