Madeline R. MacNeil

Madeline “Maddie” Reed MacNeil of Berryville, Virginia, died Sunday, March 22, 2020 at her home.

Ms. MacNeil was born January 17, 1940 in Norfolk, Virginia, daughter of the late Edgar “Roy” LeRoy MacNeil and Madeline Butler Reed MacNeil.

Maddie grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated from Douglas Freeman High School. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in music education from Longwood College, she taught in Warren County Public Schools.

Her solo career in singing began at Wayside Inn in Middletown, Virginia. She also worked as the assistant to the director at Wayside Theater. Maddie sang regularly at Skyland Lodge on the Skyline Drive. It was there that she was introduced to the dulcimer. She performed regularly at Waterford Festival, Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Handley Library, and many other Shenandoah Valley locations. She subsequently taught, and performed throughout the United States, and the British Isles.

Maddie recorded more than seventeen LPs/CDs, singing, as well as playing both the mountain and hammered dulcimers. She was the best-selling author of mountain and hammered dulcimer books for Mel Bay Publications. She was the publisher of Dulcimer Players News for twenty-eight years.

Maddie received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Longwood College, and an Indie Award for string music, as well as other awards.

She is survived by her sister, Ruth Anne Troxell and her husband, Wilson, of Woodstock, VA, a number of nieces and nephews, and many dear friends both near and far.

She is preceded in death by her parents, brothers, James MacNeil (Harriet) and Herbert MacNeil, and sister, Betty Barrett (Dick).

A private graveside service will be held in Cool Spring Natural Cemetery, Berryville, VA, with Father James Orthmann officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Longwood University Music Department, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909, or the charity of choice.

Arrangements are being handled by Enders & Shirley Funeral Home, Berryville, VA.

To view the obituary and send condolences online, please visit

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