Edwin Neill II, founder and CEO of the Neill Corporation, passed away Saturday morning February 28th from complications from cancer. He was 64.

"Edwin was a visionary, an entrepreneur, a husband, a father, a friend," said wife Debra. "His life was dedicated to creating opportunity for others and helping people reach their full potential. His legacy is the vision that will live on through each one of us.'

Neill Corporation consists of 11 separate companies spanning salons, day spas, products and equipment, technology, and, above all, education. The company employs more than 600 people and incorporates Aveda Concept Distribution; eight Paris Parker Salons and Spas, Aveda Concept salon spas; two Lockworks salons; Neill Quality College; Aveda Institutes, cosmetology and esthiology schools; and in-house design group Neill Creative.

Neill's personal values and integrity are consciously infused throughout his corporation. Employees are encouraged to live healthy lifestyles, participate in community activities and spend time with their families. Neill Corp. was voted "Best Overall Company" for the second year in a row in the local Daily Star's Reader's Choice Awards. Neill Corporation's values include:

Alignment - Shared vision
Authenticity - The expression of true nature
Contribution - That which adds value
Sustainability - That which provides for regeneration
Vitality - The energy to organize energies
Evolution - Development for the highest good of the whole
Viability - The potential to engage in evolutionary processes
Adaptability - The flexibility to embrace change
Integrity - Honoring values

The Neill family invites you to visit to view and share memories of Edwin. "The love and prayers that we have received over the last few days have been inspiring," said wife Debra Neill. "Edwin would have been so proud and happy to see the extended family he had gathered during his life - you meant so much to him."

Here are some quotes that exemplify Edwin Neill's greatness:

" will be missed greatly. Your kindness, support, respect and inspiring words towards me, I will cherish and remember.... always. You have been a mountain of strength to the industry that we all love so much."
- Sharilyn Abbajay, ISPA Executive Board Member and industry consultant

"Greatness never ends, it continues. Love and Peace
Always, Horst."
- Horst Rechelbacher, founder Aveda

"The lights are dimmer, the heartbeat softer and the spirit of our industry is soaring a bit lower for we have physically lost one of the greatest in Edwin Neill.

Edwin represents all that is and can be good. He believed in the good beyond the game of business. He saw the horizon beyond the shampoo and conditioner landscape. Like many great people before him, Edwin never talked about what he was going to do - he always just did it.

Without fail, everytime I saw Edwin, he took the time to look me in the eyes and connect. He always had words of encouragement and visions of possibilities. I shall selfishly miss Edwin for what I wanted from him. I wanted his time. I wanted to be near him, to learn from him, to listen to him speak. I wanted a piece of his greatness.

Lucky us - Edwin willingly gave us all that and more."
- Melissa Yamaguchi, President of TSA/CEO, Yamaguchi Enterprises, Inc.

Born in Texarkana, Ark., he is survived by his mother, Harriett Neill of Ponchatoula; his wife, Debra Neill of Springfield; two daughters, Marty Hebeisen of Bern, Switzerland, and Paris Neill of Hammond; five sons, Edwin Neill III, Ross Neill, Tatum Neill and Garrison Neill, all of Hammond, and Stern Neill of Seattle; a sister, Hertha Davis of Hammond; a brother, Abner Neill Jr. of Ponchatoula; and five grandchildren. (information from The Hammond Daily Star)

Wife Debra is President of the Paris Parker Salon Group and sons Edwin III and Ross are CEO and CTO of Neill Corp, respectively. Many other family members are also active in the company.

The family requests, that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Child Advocacy Services (CAS) a non-profit organization that provides programs, like CASA, for abused and neglected children.

Child Advocacy Services
c/o Mary Pirosko
1504 W. Church Street
Hammond, LA 70401