Cover photo for Jean Cahoone Mcneil's Obituary

Jean Cahoone Mcneil

Jean Cahoone Mcneil

Jean C. McNeil, 77, a retired journalist and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, died Thursday, January 5, 2023, at her home in Eagle surrounded by family.

Jean was born in the heart of New York City, to Betty Cahoone McCready McNeil and Raymond Albert McNeil.  She spent her early years in Greenwich Village, where she was able to run around the courtyard that surrounded her rent controlled farmhouse.  At 9 years old, she took her first horseback riding lesson which led to a lifelong love of horses. She spent summers with her mother and grandmother, Bea, on Cape Cod, enjoying the surf.

At age 11, Jean and her mom moved to Chester, NY, to allow her to pursue her love of horses.  For the next decade, Jean spent her time riding, jumping, and showing her beautiful black mare, Lightning, the horse that all other horses would be compared to.  Jean next attended Syracuse University, receiving a degree in theater.  Following graduation, she worked as a case worker until obtaining her Master’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Illinois.  After attending a public broadcasting convention in 1976, she landed a job in Boise, Idaho.

In Idaho, she found two of her true loves.  First, meeting her husband, Don Reading, whom she married in 1985, and second, in broadcast journalism, where she worked for Idaho Public Television on the Idaho Reports team.   Jean spent nearly a decade editing, writing, producing, and anchoring the program, where she focused on primarily covering the Idaho legislature.

In 1987, Jean and Don were blessed with a daughter, Kate.  Jean took time away from work to focus on parenting, where she passed on her lifelong love of horses to Kate.   Jean pursued her passion for travel and instilled her sense of wonder, curiosity, and adventure with her family, making sure that they traveled the country and the world as often as possible. Jean authored a book, Boise with Kids , to share this passion and help families enjoy and discover Boise.

Jean dedicated much of her life to the causes she believed in, contributing her time and skills to campaigns and charitable causes. Her numerous endeavors included writing press releases, running campaigns, volunteering at cat shelters, and numerous other endeavors.  Her commitment to local politics will leave a lasting legacy.

Jean is survived by her husband, daughter and step-daughter, sister, brother, their spouses, and two grandchildren: Husband, Don Reading; daughter, Kate (Josh) Enterkine; grandchildren, Louise and Matilda; step-daughter, Julie Reading; sister, Rose (Bill) Goodman; brother, Graham (Joan) Driscoll.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Joy Antonelli.

The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses of St. Luke’s Hospice, who took excellent care of Jean in her final weeks, and allowed her to remain in her home until her passing, and to all the friends and family who provided love and support throughout the years.

At Jean’s request there will be no immediate services.  Cremation is under direction of the Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel, Boise, and her ashes will be scattered among the horses that she loved so dearly.  A memorial will later be scheduled in the late spring/early summer.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Idaho Humane Society in her honor.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean Cahoone Mcneil, please visit our flower store.


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