Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Neil M. McIlrath Memorial
Neil M. McIlrath Memorial

Neil M. McIlrath

Neil M. McIlrath

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

Neil McIlrath, 95, of Sedro-Woolley, WA, passed away peacefully at home with family present on June 29, 2021.

He was born on April 13, 1926, in Punkin Center, WA, to James and Ella McIlrath.  He attended Hamilton schools and enlisted in the US Coast Guard in 1943 serving until discharged in 1946.

Neil and DeLora Adams were married in 1947 and they settled in Sedro-Woolley where they raised their three daughters and still reside.  He worked for the Skagit County Road Department as a heavy equipment operator for 36 years, retiring in 1987.  Neil enjoyed 34 years of retirement.  He loved raising a garden, trailer camping, spending winters in Arizona, and most of all, spending time with family.  Neil was so proud of his three daughters and grandchildren and his six great grandchildren, the first of whom were born when he was 90.  He was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church for over 50 years.

He is survived by his loving wife, Dee; daughters, Cheri McIlrath and Lisa (David) Svaren; grandchildren, Courtney (Mark) Nermo, Adam (Nikole) Mitchell, Kacee (Jay) Prochaska, Ashley (Sam) Walton, Alex Svaren and Kelsey (Caleb) Siep.  Neil’s pride and joy were his great grandchildren, twins Drew and Jake Nermo, Jaxson Neil and Carter Mitchell and Clara and James Walton, as well as many very special nieces and nephews.

Neil was preceded in death by his beloved daughter and son-in-law, Jan Anne and Mike Gradl; as well as his parents; siblings, Mabel, Aloaha, Robert, Dorothy, Maxine and Virginia.

The family extends its thanks to Hospice for their kindness and care of our loved one.

Memorials may be made to Bethlehem Lutheran Church or Hospice of the Northwest.

An open house celebrating the lives of father and daughter, Neil McIlrath and Jan Gradl ( March 10, 2020) will be held on Sunday, August 22, 2021, at 2:30 pm at the home of Cheri McIlrath, 713 Quinnat Drive, Burlington.    Share your memories of Neil and sign the online guest register.


  • Steven Adams

    I will always cherish the memories that I have with Uncle Les. The many talks about Grandpa and Grandma and the logging camps and how life was so much different back then. He did so much during his life but it was always his family that he cared about the most. I was always amazed on his gardening skills and how he was able to keep one going every year. I still have the wheelbarrow that he gave me when I first moved home. It used to belong to Grandma and Grandpa. He said “Ya know, a guy needs a good wheelbarrow”, so I gladly accepted it. I remember him in the county truck. He always smiled and I never once saw him get angry at anyone. I wish that we could all have an Aunt and Uncle that loved like this. Dear Uncle, I will love and miss you…… forever!

  • Joan Sinyard

    You were a great man and Uncle. dearly loved our talks we had when I would come to visit you and Aunt Dee. You will be missed by a lot of people, family
    God Bless You

  • Chuck Hyatt

    In the sixth grade I was interested in taking band, but didn’t know what instrument I’d like to play. When I related this to Neil he told me I should go after the saxophone and the put on a record of Boots Randolf playing Yakity Sax. He said, Isn’t that great, wouldn’t you like to do that?” Thanks, Neil, for the music and for being a pillar in the neighborhood.

  • Steve and Cheryl (Trueman) Mansfield

    Thinking of you all and wanted to express our condolences.

  • Diane Torset

    We were both so sorry to hear of Neil’s passing. We have been wondering about you both , especially during Covid, as we haven’t seen you waking for such a long time. What a wonderful couple you were, both so very nice and friendly. Please accept our sincere sympathy, I know how much he will be missed not only by his family, but by all of those of us who knew such a gentle friendly man.
    Don & Diane Torset

  • Elena Balzar Harp

    My head is very sad as I read of Neil’s passing. My memories of him go back over 60 years to when I went to work with my dad, who also worked for the road department. Neil and others were always so kind. And since then when I’d see Neil he always knew me and remembered my mom’s wonderful Dill pickles.
    He will be missed and I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Jean Burgess

    I am blessed to have a wonderful uncle like him. He was always happy to see you and blessed me and my husband Patrick last time we visited by a Salaman feed with Aunt Dee. I am glad we will spend eternity together!

  • Nathan Salseina, City of Sedro-Woolley

    Very sorry to read of Neil’s passing. He was a very nice man. I always appreciated visiting with him when either working on the road or mowing along the railroad tracks in front of his house. He had lots of good stories of working on the road crew how different things were back in the old days. Condolences to his family I will miss seeing him working in his yard.

  • Gloria Turcotte

    Loved this man. Such a kind and sweet soul. I will miss him so much. He was so good to all of us.