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1410 E Bowman Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88001-3001
Phone: (575) 526-2419
Fax: (575) 526-7944
Francine McNeill
In Memory of
McNeill (Frate)
1946 - 2023
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Getz Funeral Home
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Obituary for Francine McNeill (Frate)

Francine  McNeill (Frate)
Francine Frate McNeill

Francine Frate McNeill, 76, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, entered eternal life on August 29, 2023, a day short of her 77th birthday.

Francine was born on August 30, 1946, to Kathleen (Kay) and Charles J. Frate in Torrington, Connecticut. After graduating from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School in 1964, she majored in math and physics at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, graduating in 1968. In the fall of 1967, Francine met David McNeill, Jr., an Army lawyer, on a blind date. They wed after his return from Vietnam on June 7, 1969. Francine and David went on to have three daughters: Kathleen, Maureen, and Christine (d. 1982).

After college, Francine worked for IBM’s computer department, U. S. Army Military Intelligence, and eventually became a middle- and high-school math and science teacher. She taught at various schools in El Paso, TX; Virginia; and, Las Cruces, including Immaculate Heart of Mary School from 1987 to 1991. Her last teaching assignment was at Mayfield High School from 1991 to 2008. Francine was a wonderful, gifted, honored, and well-loved educator who enjoyed encouraging her students to succeed in and out of the classroom.

In addition to teaching, Francine was a devoted wife and mother. During the time her husband was in the U. S. Army, the family moved frequently. She took each new place as an adventure, making a house a home, teaching and involving herself with many activities including bowling league, bridge club, and golfing. Other activities included serving as a director of several Amy wives’ clubs in the areas she and her husband were assigned; being a youth soccer referee for almost 20 years, and further serving as a referee instructor for ten years. She also became a liturgist for the Roman Catholic Church and served on the staff of her parish church, St. Albert the Great Newman Parish responsible for scheduling weekday liturgies. She was also an assistant master of ceremonies for the Diocese of Las Cruces Masses. She taught religious education classes at St. Albert’s for many years. Francine will be remembered for her quick wit, helping hand, and warm heart. She was also an amazing cook having learned recipes from the many nations she and David visited, including Italy, Germany, France, Korea, Mexico, and, of course, the U.S.

Francine was preceded in death by her parents, Charles J. Frate and Kathleen Elizabeth (Kay) Frate, and her stillborn daughter, Christine Dempsey McNeill. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Deacon David McNeill, Jr., her daughters and their partners: Kathleen E. Haus (Michael Buerskin) of Eden Prairie, MN; Maureen K. Pearson (Matthew Wingfield) of Sachse, TX; six grandchildren: David Haus, Elizabeth Haus (Tony Berg), Sarah Haus (Brian Simpson), Loman Pearson, Teige Pearson, and Joseph Haus; her sister and brother-in-law Maureen and Charles (Chuck) Menninger of Charlotte, NC; her brother- and sister-in-law John and Dorothy McNeill of Centennial, CO; nieces and nephews; Niki and Jon Manke, Olivia and Amelia; Ryan and Kaitlyn McNeill, Theo and Avery; David and Shannon McNeill.

A Vigil Service will be held on September 8th at 6:30 p.m. at St. Albert the Great Newman Parish, 2615 S. Solano Dr., Las Cruces, N.M. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on September 9th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Albert the Great Newman Parish. The funeral Mass will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person. The Rite of Committal will follow at the church with a brief reception afterwards. In lieu of flowers, please donate contributions to the Carmelite Monastery of Santa Fe, N.M., 49 Carmel Road, Santa Fe, N.M. 87505-0352 or to Catholic Relief Services at

We will miss Francine dearly, but we are consoled by the words of a wise man who once said, “Your temporal loss is an eternal gain”.

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