James O'Neill

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
James O'Neill Obituary

It is with great sorrow that we have to say goodbye to a kind, kind soul and a gentle man who lived his life for his family. James L. O'Neill (Jim) died Monday, July 18, 2016 at the wonderful age of 91.

Jim was born in Bakersfield on January 31, 1925 to Larkin and Irene O'Neill. He grew up throughout the Central Valley, living in Lindsey, Porterville, Terra Bella and Delano. He was an outstanding athlete in his school days (chosen as athlete of the year in 1941), playing all four major sports throughout high school. He continued playing football and baseball well into his college career at the University of Nevada and finally at Stanford University, where he graduated in 1948 with a degree in Petroleum Geology.

Jim interrupted his college studies when he enlisted in the Marines after his first semester of college in 1942; some of his service time was spent learning Japanese at the Naval Language School. It was after his duty as a Marine that he met and married the love of his life, Beverley Buckingham, on July 27, 1946. They would have been married 70 years this week.

Jim had a long and successful career as a Petroleum Geologist, although it was interrupted once more by the Marines as he was recalled for the Korean War. He worked for a number of the larger Petroleum companies in Bakersfield before starting Argonaut Oil and Gas Consultants with his long time friend and business partner, Jack Clare. Their partnership lasted over 30 years. Jim's work took him throughout California and the Central Valley, to many of the Midwest and Southern oil states, along with a stint in Libya. In 1962 he was one of two men being considered for the job of Head Geologist for the Navaho Nation's. Jim was a lifelong member of the AAPG, past president and lifelong member of the local Pacific section of the Geological Society and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

Jim and his wife, Beverley, traveled extensively on the East Coast, England and Europe. They divided their "home time" between Bakersfield and Carmel. Jim, always an avid gardener, spent his free time tending to his gardens, actively working in his yard until just a few months ago.

He was a kind, caring and extremely honorable man that will be deeply missed by his family and friends. As one son-in-law frequently said "your dad is my hero", he was a hero to us all.

Jim was preceded in death by his father and mother and his sister Patricia. He is survived by his wife Beverley, 2 daughters and their spouses, Patricia Giordano (Daniel) and Nancy Hodder (John), three granddaughters, Megan Raymond (Randy), Jennifer Giordano-Davis and Kaitlin Matthys (Paul), 4 great grand children and his brother Gerald Lee O'Neill.

Jim went by many names in his lifetime: Son, Jimmy, James, Jim, Brother, Partner, Husband, Spouse, Father, Dad , Grandpa, Great Grandpa, FIL (that one confused a lot of people, it stands for Father-In-Law and) and most recently as Pops. We love you Pops.

At Jim's request there will be no services. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Hoffmann Hospice Home where Jim was so lovingly cared for in his final days. We want to thank Mercy South West emergency and ICU for all of their help. A very special thank you goes to all the staff and Miss Maggie at the Hoffmann Hospice Home, you made Jim's last few days so much easier for everyone.

Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 26, 2016
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