Gilbert McNeil, Sr.

HAR extends condolences to family, friends and colleagues of member Gilbert McNeil, Sr., 91, who died on Sunday, September 10, 2023. Gilbert was the owner/broker of McNeil Realty and was a proud U.S. Army veteran.

Gilbert was born in Austin County, Texas on August 13, 1932 to the late Rev. Frank A McNeil, Sr. and Mattie Gentry McNeil. He was the first born of 10 children. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957. He married Bettie Jean Conner on April 5, 1958.

Gilbert graduated from Barber College in the 1950s and Beauty College years later. He also drove trucks for Southern Pacific for about 15 years. He then began full-time self-employment at 49 years old. In the latter 1950s, he opened McNeil Barber Shop, later Demco Hair, and opened McNeil Realty in 1965 in the heart of Houston’s Third Ward (now located in South Park), both of which he owned and operated until his death. He also owned a sign company, Mack’s Magnetic Signs. As a gifted photographer, taking photos for the family and other ventures early on, he broadened his knowledge by attending Houston Community College for photography classes, and officially opened a photography business (Mack’s Photography) in the 1990s. Gilbert was also an inventor. He invented the brake bleeder (patented in 2020) and inventor of an audible burglar alarm in the 1990s which utilized his own voice when activated.

Gilbert is predeceased by his late, loving wife, Bettie J. Conner McNeil; his parents, Rev. Frank A. McNeil, Sr. and Mattie Gentry McNeil; sister, Vivian Lister; brothers, Rev. George O. McNeil, Sr., Frank McNeil, Jr.(and wife Laura McNeil); sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws: Ida Mae Conner, Annie Louise and Earl Robinson, Clarence and Nola Mae Conner, Willie and Hannah Conner, Norma Dee and Antoine Arceneaux, Sr.; and loving grand daughters, Mekeva McNeil and Artissa Williams Wiggins.

He leaves to cherish his memory, 6 children, Brian Conner (Carolyn), ToniMcNeil Pierre (Eric), Rosalind McNeil Williams (Lawrence), GilbertMcNeil, Jr. (Lisa), Jacqueline (Jackie) McNeil Poore (John), and DariusMcNeil; 18 grandchildren, 31 Great Grandkids; 1 sister, Ester McNeil Quiller; 5 brothers, Charles “Ben” McNeil (Don), James McNeil (Charlene), Wilbert McNeil (Alzena), Rev. Milton McNeil, Sr. (Barbara), Joe McNeil; Sister-in-Law, Doris McNeil; Brother-in-Law, Rev. Basel Lister, Sr.; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members.

Funeral services were held on September 16 at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Houston with interment at Houston Memorial Gardens. A complete obituary is available online HERE.

Member obituaries and visitation/funeral arrangements for posting on HAR’s Members Only Portal and in the Houston REALTOR® may be sent to David Mendel at