Rolfe Neill Obituary, Death – In his final column as publisher of The Charlotte Observer, which was published in December 1997, Rolfe Neill stated that in the 40 or so years that he had been employed there, sickness had only caused him to miss work for a little over a week. He ascribed his strong health to the healthy genes that were passed down in his family from Iredell County as well as “the elixir of job joy.”
According to his daughter Ingrid Ebert of Kernersville, Neill passed away early on Friday morning at the age of 90 due to complications from peritoneal cancer. He was one of the most influential leaders in contemporary Charlotte and served as the publisher of the Observer from 1975 until his retirement in 1997. There are no plans to provide any public services. Neill was in grave danger throughout the month of October. According to Ebert, the unexpected and additional nine months of life that he was granted developed into an extended celebration with the man’s family and friends.
According to Neill’s daughter, he had no desire to participate at his own burial. He lied to me and said, “I’m not going to be there anyway.” He had a total of eight grandkids and four great-grandchildren, as well as five biological children and two stepchildren. Neill’s career happened to overlap with the Observer’s most successful time, during which the publication took home three of its five Pulitzer Prizes. Over the course of three decades, Neill left a colossal imprint on the wider Charlotte area, much as he did on the massive newspaper headquarters that formerly stood at Tryon and Stonewall but have since been demolished.
Neill also developed fruitful personal and professional ties with influential corporate and political figures from all across North Carolina, some of whom were likely to be criticized the next day in the editorial pages of the newspaper.