Community loses Lorraine McNeil’s laughter
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | March 1, 2018
Lorraine McNeil’s happy-go-lucky attitude was infectious. She could get a smile or laugh out of anyone within moments of meeting them.
For several years she spread joy to Canoe FM listeners, who tuned into a radio program she co-hosted with Mike Jaycock. Her warm and funny personality also shined through on stage during her many performances as Elf in the Highlands Christmas Shindig (which she also co-hosted with Jaycock). On February 24, the Haliburton Highlands lost one of its shining stars.
McNeil died at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre from a combination of pneumonia and multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer. She was 59. Jaycock reflected on their friendship and on-air partnership in a post on Facebook.
“Lorraine and I truly clicked,” he said. “She was funny, quick-witted and her laugh echoed through the county. Most important of all, we cared for and trusted each other.”
When they were together there was “joyous laughter on and off the air.” “Lorraine just had a way of lifting your spirits and making you glad to be in that moment,” he added. Her husband, Lorne, said she developed a special bond with Jaycock.
“He kind of became Lorraine’s best friend,” he said. “It kind of went from being co-host to mentor to best friend. She just loved being on the radio with Mike.”
Even when she was ill in recent months, she was able to bring herself to go the station or call in. “She would get the adrenaline going … she just loved it right to the end,” said Lorne. Lorraine volunteered for nearly a decade in the community.
She was involved with Meals on Wheels, Community Kitchen and Fuel for Warmth. Lorne said she also did many one-day events, such as golf tournaments. With the condolences pouring in, it’s evident Lorraine touched many lives. “It’s really great,” said Lorne.
“There’s been tremendous support.” He thanked all the nurses and doctors for their care. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Fuel for Warmth or the Princess Margaret Hospital. A celebration of life will be announced in the near future.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.