Eugene B. O'Neill
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AGE: 83 • Wilmington
Eugene (Gene) Brendan O'Neill, age 83, of Wilmington, DE, formerly of New York City, peacefully passed away on Wednesday, July 9, following a year and a half battle with cancer. He was the son of Jeremiah and Mary (nee Burke) O'Neill, both formerly of County Kerry, Ireland.
In 1951 Gene earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University with a major in Chemistry. A few months later, he served the U.S. Army as a corporal in Korea where he supervised merchandising/warehousing operations, and was honorably discharged in 1953. He was later transferred from active military duty to Army Reserves at Ft. Kilmer, NJ where he served until 1959. During his military years Gene earned a Korean Service Medal with three bronze stars for service as well as one from the United Nations.
During the first two years Gene served in the Army he was actively courting Geraldine (Geri) Desmond, his "girl from Queens". He married her on May 1, 1954, and a few months later the couple relocated to Claymont, DE where they began raising a family of four children. In December, 1966 Gene moved his family to their new home in north Wilmington, residing there until just before the final week of his life.
For more than 30 years Gene worked for Haveg Industries (later Ametek) in Wilmington serving as a chemist/manager until his retirement in 1994. However, Gene wasn't destined to enjoy a life of leisure, because a few months later he was recruited to help his son launch PSCI, Inc., a technical staffing firm located in north Wilmington. For the next 20 years Gene worked part-time as an assistant bookkeeper until he became too ill to continue working.
Gene was always a warm and loving father who doted on his kids and their friends. He was also an avid sports' enthusiast who regularly played football during his teens and college years. Each succeeding decade found Gene participating in softball, bowling, and later on, golf which he played well into his sixties. He loved going to Phillies' games and devotedly attended nearly every basketball, soccer, and football game his children and grandchildren were involved in. Up until the final month of his life, Gene was tuned into ESPN and became a "sports aficionado", who always enjoyed a good discussion about matches and events with anyone who shared similar interests.
Gene's family wishes to express gratitude to every staff member of Compassionate Care Hospice who met his needs and ministered to his relatives as they rendered highly skilled professional services characterized by kindness, love, and sensitivity.
Gene was predeceased in March by Geri, his beloved wife of nearly 60 years; their son, Matthew W. O'Neill in January 2000; daughter, Mary O'Neill Rush in May 2004; and his sister, Mary Chmil of San Diego, CA in January 2012. He is survived by his brother, Gerald O'Neill of San Diego, CA; daughter, Cathleen L. O'Neill of Wilmington; son, Christopher J. O'Neill (Liz) of Wilmington; Matthew's widow, Rebecca Godwin (Ron) of Middletown, DE; Mary's widower, John Anderson Rush (Bev) recently of Tacoma, WA; eight grandchildren: Patrick O'Neill of Wilmington; Sean O'Neill (Lizzy) of Conshohocken, PA, Christine O'Neill of Hoboken, NJ; Helen Rush (Gabe Aniya) and Jack Rush of Washington, DC; Dan Rush recently of Tacoma, WA; and Brent and Maxwell O'Neill of Middletown.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday, July 16 from 6-8 p.m. at Chandler Funeral Home, 2506 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Thursday, July 17 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Magdalene R.C. Church, Sharpley Rd. and Concord Pike, Wilmington, 19803 followed by interment at All Saints' Cemetery, Kirkwood Highway, Newark, DE.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made in memory of Eugene to Compassionate Care Hospice, 405 East Marsh Lane, Suite 4, Newport, DE 19804.
For online condolences,
HOMES & CREMATORY
Chandler Funeral Homes and Crematorium
2506 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803-9925
Published in The News Journal from July 13 to July 15, 2014