Lennie McNeal Jr. loving husband, great Dad and wonderful “Papa” was born on February 9, 1945
in Kankakee, Illinois, to Inez Williams and Lennie McNeal, Sr., both who preceded him in death.
After high school in 1963, Lennie left Kankakee and headed for Chicago to join the military just
as his father and grandfather had done before him. His choice had been the Air Force, however,
the recruiter was not there and the Marine recruiter persuaded him to join the Marines. “Oorah”.
On October 1, 1963, he became a Marine, left Chicago and was sent to San Diego, California.
In 1964, he met Sylvia, his sweetheart. In 1965 he was sent to Vietnam for his first tour of duty.
In 1966, he returned from Vietnam with his Purple Heart and he and Sylvia were married June
19, 1966. On October 1, 1967, he received his Honorable Discharge. From 1966 to 1972, Lennie was
employed with Douglas Aircraft, Smith Tool Co. and Clayton Welding.
In 1972, he became an Ironworker (Apprentice). For the apprentice program he attended Long
Beach State for 4 years. There he received his Welding Certification to increase his onsite
usefulness along with blueprint reading, mathematics, and general construction techniques.
After becoming a Journeyman Ironworker, he rose through the ranks from Supervisor to
Superintendent to Project Manager. Most of the high rises in downtown L.A., Staples Center,
and the Walt Disney Concert Hall were some of his most memorable projects.
Lennie and Sylvia lived in Los Angeles from 1966 to 1969, moved to Inglewood from 1969 to 1988,
Chino Hills from 1988 to 2018, and finally Canyon Lake (aka Paradise) from 2018 to the present.
Lennie loved his boat, motorcoach and fishing, and camping out in order to fish. He also enjoyed
live jazz events, cruising, and traveling in the Coach. The coach was named “Miah’s Ride” after
his eldest granddaughter.
Lennie leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Sylvia; their son Andre; two grand-daughter’s Miah Le
Anne and Morgan Shayne; brother Vincent Williams (Cindy) and their daughter Nicole; cousin
Earl Lane (Sue); Earl’s sons, Earl Jr. and Niyo; sister in laws, Janet Porter and her daughters
Patricia Davis (Ken) their son Ben, and Janice C. Porter and Vernita Huffman (deceased), her son
Zedrick Coleman and his children Zedrick B. Coleman, Jr., Quenton Coleman, Barney Huffman
(son Cameron), Saevonve’ A. Coleman, Micah and Kaleb; brother-in-law Carl Coleman
(deceased) and his sons Anthony Coleman and Carl Coleman, Jr; aunt Evelyn Armstrong and
her son Rickie Armstrong; a host of cousins, step-brothers and sisters; friends from our old
neighborhoods and new ones in Canyon Lake.
A Celebration of Lennie’s Life will be held in the near future when COVID-19 allows a large
gathering of family, friends and former co-workers.