Brenda B. McNeil, 71, died on July 8, 2015 in her Forest Park home. Born on April 24, 1944 in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, she attended a rural one-room schoolhouse, the Earlystown School, Penns Valley Area Joint High School, and graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1966 with a B.S. in health and physical education. 

A 25-year resident of Oak Park and Forest Park, she was for many years active in the Oak Park-area small business organization, Biznet, She was the former owner of a residential mortgage brokerage, McNeil Financial Group Inc., which she started in Oak Park and later relocated to Forest Park. 

She retired in 2008 but maintained leadership positions in several mortgage broker trade groups, was an active member of the Penn State athletics alumni association, having played varsity softball during college, and was a longtime supporter of progressive political organizations. 

Brenda McNeil is survived by her sons, Brett (Lindsay) and Timothy; her sisters, Beverly (Alton) Hotaling and Connie Sue Mell (T. Larry); and her five nieces and nephews. She was recently preceded in death by her sister and close friend, Priscilla Bruce. 

A memorial service will be held this Sunday, Aug. 16, inside Cheney Mansion, 220 N. Euclid Ave. in Oak Park. An open house will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. and the service will begin at 5. A reception will follow at the Oak Park home of Brett McNeil and Lindsay Koriath. For information about the service or to contact the family, please write to