Obituary of Robert Gordon McNeil
Robert G. McNeil, PhD, 77, passed away peacefully on Islesboro in July of 2021. Born in Los Angeles, CA, son of Leone and Robert J McNeil, he graduated from Los Angeles High School before continuing on to UC Irvine where he graduated with doctoral degrees in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Physics. His passions for investment and science led him to a long career in biomedical venture capital. He founded Sanderling Ventures, where he led the growth and development of several companies that advanced important medical technologies. Bob grew up sailing with his family, beginning with many memorable trips to Catalina, then later racing boats of all kinds. He developed a passion for racing, and raced boats big (Zephryus IV and V) and small (505s and Starboats). Notable sailing achievements include: winning the 505 North American Championships in the mid 60’s, being a finalist in the 1984 Starboat Olympic Trials, sailing multiple transpacific and transatlantic races, and breaking records in the Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro and Montego Bay races. Later in life, his love of history led him to the world of classic boat restoration, where he found joy in collaborating with talented teams to bring beautiful yachts back to life. Devoted to his family and loved ones, he enjoyed bringing everyone together though hosting elaborate meals, sharing in sailing adventures, and woodworking with his children, nieces, and nephews. This love of community led him to Islesboro, where he was able to focus on woodworking, family racing in classic wooden boats, and hosting dinners with friends. He is survived by his three daughters, two siblings, many nieces and nephews (and beyond), and a community of friends and colleagues in California, Maine, and around the world. In lieu of flowers, please send donations In Memory of Bob McNeil to Big Tree Boating (P.O. Box 273, Islesboro, ME 04848), or the Islesboro Island Trust (P.O. Box 182, Islesboro, ME 04848), both organizations he was fiercely passionate about throughout his later years.