O'NEIL, C. Roderick
C. Roderick O'Neil, a former banker, investment manager, and co-founder of Riverfront Recapture in Hartford, CT, died July 28 at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT. He was 81 and lived in Mt. Kisco, NY. Mr. O'Neil died of complications related to ALS. Mr. O'Neil was born on Jan. 26, 1931 in Amityville, Long Island, NY. He graduated from Princeton University in 1953 and received his MBA from the University of Chicago GSB in 1957. Among his hobbies, he was an avid tennis player and also a licensed pilot. In business, Mr. O'Neil led the trust department for the Manufacturers Hanover Bank before moving to Hartford to serve as Chairman of the Finance Committee and Board Member of The Travelers Companies. He left that position in 1984 to launch a private investment firm in partnership with Alan Greenspan, Greenspan O'Neil Inc. In 1986, he became chairman of the financial consulting company, O'Neil Associates. Rory O'Neil served on a wide range of corporate and nonprofit boards, including Beckman Coulter, AMBAC, Colt Manufacturing, Fort Dearborn Income Securities, Brinson Trust Co., Memorial Drive Trust, and the California Institute of the Arts. He was a Chartered Financial Analyst and was trustee and past president of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts. He chaired the State of Connecticut Investment Advisory Committee from 1988-91 and has served on the Investment Committee of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for over two decades. He was a director of the Corporation for Independent Living in Hartford and director (1982-93) and past chairman of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. But, in many ways, his proudest achievement was the role he played in the restoration of the Connecticut River waterfront in Hartford. In 2006, on the 25th anniversary of the group's founding, "The Hartford Courant" wrote of Mr. O'Neil's introducing the concept of returning the river to the city. Now close to one million people each year visit the chain of parks, walkways and boathouses created by Riverfront Recapture, which the Courant called "one of the state's most successful non-profits". Mr. O'Neil maintained his family home in Mt. Kisco, NY, with his wife, Nancy. However, when he joined Travelers in 1977, he and his wife became pioneers in the revitalization of downtown Hartford and were active in the restoration of a number of historic properties, including 20 Charter Oak Place. In 1985 the O'Neils restored Simsbury 1820 House in Simsbury, and were owners until 1997. Mr. O'Neil was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He married Nancy Galante in 1950. Together, they had six children: Brian, Sarah, Tim, Kevin, John and Anne. In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by 13 grandchildren and his brothers, Terry and Tom.
Visitation will be at Beecher Funeral Home, 418 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY on Tuesday, July 31 from 5-9 p.m. and a Memorial Service will take place on Wednesday, August 1, at 11:30 a.m. at the Bedford Historical Hall at 608 Old Post Road, Bedford, NY. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Riverfront Recapture in Hartford, CT, or to The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig MDA/ALS Multidisciplinary Care Center at Columbia University in New York City.