the Army, helping to build bases in West Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

While he was growing up, Jack attended ten different elementary schools all over Texas as his father moved the family from one construction site to another. Jack graduated from Eldorado High School in 1943 and went on to attend Louisiana Polytechnic Institute and Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. During this time Jack served as a Midshipman in the Navy V5 Flight Training Program until released from service at the end of WWII. From 1946 to 1951 Jack attended Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, now known as Univ. of Texas at El Paso. There, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mining Engineering. Jack’s professional career took him and his family to almost every climb in the Western Hemisphere. From building airport runways in Iceland and Cuba, to Nike Missile sites in the Bahamas, or the Galveston County Jail, or the three story barracks on Guantanamo Bay’s Leeward side, Jack made his mark in the construction world. His government service career in Guantanamo Bay began in 1953 as the Manager of the Specifications and Estimates Branch of the Public Works Engineering Division. In 1955 he became the first Maintenance Control Director for Public Works Center Guantanamo Bay. He resigned from government service in 1957 but returned to Guantanamo in 1958 as the project manager for the McDonough Corporation, who was building the three story barracks on Leeward. In 1963 Jack returned to government service as the Supervisory General Engineer for ROICC, GTMO and served in this position until his retirement in May of 2001. Jack’s many honors and awards include being selected as President of the Scientific Club, College of Mines and Metallurgy, Alpha Phi Gamma Award from the National Honorary Journalism Fraternity, Sigma Gamma Epsilon, National Honorary Earth Sciences Fraternity, First Desalinization Congress of the American Continent, Honorary Seabee 1975, Honorary Chief Petty Officer 1982, Ten Outstanding Performance Awards, Six Sustained Superior Performance Awards, and the Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal, awarded in 1988. Jack was a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin, a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, a charter member of the Guantanamo Bay Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, a member of the Construction Specification Institute, and a Certified Estimator of the American Society of Professional Estimators. He was also the first president of the Guantanamo Bay Chapter of the Navy League of the United States, a member of Toastmasters International and a member of the American Legion.

Mr. John L. (Jack) Neill (aka: El Vagamondo)
Mr. John Lawrence (Jack) Neill was born on a small ranch outside of Eldorado, Texas on December 30th, 1925. His family was early settlers of the State of Texas and it is well noted that Jack’s Great-Great Grandfather, James Clinton Neill, was the original commander of the Alamo. Jack’s long and varied career in construction began at the ripe old age of 8, assisting his father on various projects. At the age of 14 he worked on an archeological dig in Yucatan, Mexico, and then as a materials testing engineer on various construction projects for

Jack is survived by his loving wife of sixty-three years, the former Josephine Flores of El Paso, Texas, and their five children, Stephanie Adricana, Jacqueline Neill Heck, Lawrence Conner Neill, Jack Arthur Neill, and an adopted grandson John Allen Neill. There is much more that could have been placed on these pages concerning Jack’s accomplishments and adventures. For those of us who knew and loved him, he will be deeply missed.

The Neill’s love the area and say it reminds them of Texas.” Jack said wistfully. During his original employment at the base from 1953-58. “my great-great-grandfather. “We don't seem to have as much community participation as we had then. A friend of mine was on guard duty there. and held it just long enough for me to snap the picture. He replied in feigned seriousness.5 million gallon sea water distillation plant to eliminate future reliance on the Yateras River and provide a quality water system under Navy control. He escaped Travis's fate and helped win Texas independence from Mexico in the Battle of San Jacinto.000 Cuban nationals. He hoisted the flag one day when nobody was looking. Neill. He has been there through the years. overseeing a variety of projects including upgrading the water system to process an additional 2 million gallons per day. he has completed 640 projects costing $163 million — more than doubling the housing accommodations in the process. “I miss driving through the Northeast Gate. “Perhaps the fact that we now have Cable TV has made couch potatoes out of too many of us today!” That was a statement I heard several times. They especially like the climate and hope things will someday return to the way it was before Castro came to power.” he said with a laugh. Travis relieved him to go join Gen. he added. “How in the world did you manage that?” I asked. Jack Neill coordinated this effort and completed it more than a year ahead of schedule.” In his office is a photo of a Texas flag flying from the flagpole at Northeast Gate. As the Chief Engineer. James C. “Talk about a good set of orders. the Neill’s lived in nearby Guantanamo City. and flying over to Santiago once in a while. Since 1965. The sequel to that water cut-off was the construction of a 1. commanded the Alamo before Col.” Jo remembered Roy's involvement in youth and school activities as well as the many community activities we all enjoyed together. Pointing at a distant mountain we could see through the window of his office. U. William B.THE ROICC ENGINEER By CDR Byron (Jug) Varner. Jack is a true-blue Texan with some worthy heritage to brag about.S. even to visit their now grown children living in the States.” she commented. Navy (RET) (Extract taken from an article written during a return visit there in March 1996) Sam Houston's forces.” He and wife Josephine (Jo) raised their family in GTMO and seldom leave the base. . and Jack commuted to work every day through the Northeast Gate along with about 3. “Oh that was taken several years ago. Col. He has worked and lived on base continuously since 1963. “I'd dearly love to retire beyond that mountain over there.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful