Jennie “Cookie” MacNeil, 69, of North Haven and Wallingford, CT died on August 23, 2015. Jennie was born on May 25, 1946 in New Haven, CT. She was the daughter of Helen Cuozzo and the late Andrew Parillo. Jennie graduated from North Haven High School in 1964 and married the late Robert MacNeil, the love of her life, on April 1, 1967 in North Haven, CT. They lived for a year at Fort Benning in Columbus Georgia after Robert returned from the Viet Nam War, before settling in North Haven, CT, where they raised three children. Jennie was affectionately referred to as the “CEO of the household” and assisted with Robert’s business ventures in West Haven and New Haven, CT. Jennie was active in the lives of her three children including the PTA, Boy Scouts, sports, and music. She took pride in maintaining a meticulous and lively home that was perpetually enjoyed by her family and all of their friends. Jennie enjoyed dancing, the beach, the casino, and rocking her red lipstick. She loved taking family vacations to Los Angeles, Vermont, and Cape Cod. She was devastated when her 16-year-old son, Scott, was killed as a passenger in an alcohol-related car crash on August 4, 1991. With her husband Robert and the support of MADD, she lobbied state leaders to pass a zero-tolerance law and spoke before the General Assembly, resulting in the 1995 legislation which made it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to have any alcohol in their system while driving. In October 2007, MADD honored Jennie with its highest award, the Hilda Davis Award. The same month, the North Haven Courier named Jennie “person of the week” for her efforts in fighting alcohol related crashes with MADD. She established scholarships in Scott’s name with MADD, which was active for fifteen years, and North Haven High School, which is still ongoing. It brought Jennie great joy to select and meet the recipients, many with whom she kept in touch. Above all, Jennie’s greatest joy was her children and grandchildren. She said, “My children have brought me such joy, my grandchildren are my heart.” Jennie will be remembered for her positive attitude, sense of humor, and selfless commitment to her family. Her courage will continue to inspire those who knew her. Jennie is survived by her son Dean MacNeil and grandson Dean MacNeil II of Los Angeles; daughter Deanna MacNeil Bernier, son-in-law Joseph Bernier and grandchildren Skyelyn, Scott, and Spencer of North Haven; mother Helen Parillo and brother Don Parillo of North Haven; and many loving and supportive cousins, nieces, nephews, Godchildren, and longtime cherished friends.

Family and friends are invited to meet directly at the Office of All Saints Cemetery, 700 Middletown Avenue, North Haven on Tuesday morning August 25th and follow the funeral procession to the MacNeil family plot for an 11:30 graveside service.  There will be no visiting hours. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Scott B. MacNeil Scholarship Fund, North Haven High School, 221 Elm Street, North Haven, CT 06473-3251 or to MADD.