Obit­u­ary – Neil ‘Nonny’ MacInnes

The Oban Times - - British, Marriages & Deaths -

1970 - 2017 NEIL ‘NONNY’ MacInnes was known for many things – his shinty ac­co­lades, his char­i­ta­ble work and run­ning Coast­ers bar – but to his fam­ily he was so much more than that.

He was a fam­ily man, the life and soul of the party and a prac­ti­cal joker right up to the end.

Nonny passed away on Tues­day March 28, aged 46, fol­low­ing a bat­tle with can­cer. But he left be­hind a legacy that will help oth­ers de­feat the dreaded disease.

He founded the DMI Can­cer Trust char­ity after los­ing his dad to the ill­ness.

DMI raised around £47,000 through three char­i­ta­ble con­certs ti­tled We’ll Walk This Road To­gether, which fea­tured Scot­land’s top tra­di­tional mu­sic bands. His wife, Karen, will now con­tinue the tra­di­tion in me­mory of Nonny, as will John Scott, who or­gan­ised a char­ity football match We’ll Play This Game To­gether.

Nonny was born in Oban on De­cem­ber 26, 1970, and went to Rock­field Pri­mary School, be­fore at­tend­ing Oban High School. It was in pri­mary school that his love of sport de­vel­oped. Over the years he ac­cu­mu­lated a num­ber of medals play­ing the sport he loved – shinty.

His most pres­ti­gious award came in 1996, when he cap­tained Oban Ca­manachd to vic­tory in the Ca­manachd Cup fi­nal, beat­ing Kin­gussie 3-2.

Upon leav­ing school, Nonny served an ap­pren­tice painter and dec­o­ra­tor, at­tain­ing his qual­i­fi­ca­tion at Cly­de­bank Col­lege.

How­ever, this ca­reer wasn’t for him and he started work­ing in fish farms, where he re­mained for around a decade.

Prov­ing that he can turn his hand to any­thing, Nonny worked his way up to be­come site man­ager in his time there.

In 2004, the op­por­tu­nity arose for him to take on a new chal­lenge – run­ning Coast­ers. This came about after Karen saw that it was for lease and con­vinced him to get into it.

The orig­i­nal plan was that Karen was go­ing to run the bar, but Nonny took to it like a duck to wa­ter and in the end it was he who was more suited to the role. Karen said it was a mas­sive change from what he was used to – stand­ing at the other side of the bar.

As a child, Nonny was a keen singer and ac­cor­dion player and, in his younger years, he com­peted in com­pe­ti­tions such as the Royal Na­tional Mòd. His com­pet­ing days might have stopped as he got older, but his love for mu­sic re­mained.

Karen re­calls one party in par­tic­u­lar where he played ‘the box’ un­til ‘stupid o’clock’ in the morn­ing, play­ing the same song on re­peat – one that he had com­posed him­self.

An­other ma­jor part of Nonny’s life was trav­el­ling and go­ing on hol­i­day – whether it be bathing in the sun, or vis­it­ing his fam­ily in Barra and ex­plor­ing the is­land. He went from not be­ing able to sit in the sun, to lov­ing it ‘as long as he had his mu­sic and a pint’.

Through­out his ill­ness, Nonny’s friends pro­vided him with a great amount of loy­alty, in par­tic­u­lar Jocky Martin and his fam­ily.

Jocky and Nonny were best friends since they met each other in pri­mary one – and through­out his fi­nal ill­ness they re­mained close. Jocky and his fam­ily con­tinue to be there for the MacInnes fam­ily. The Oban Times extends its deep­est sym­pa­thy to Nonny’s wife Karen, daugh­ters Jenna and Kirsty, his mother Rhoda and broth­ers Ian and Ally, as well as the ex­tended fam­ily.

Neil ‘Nonny’ MacInnes.

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