O’NEILL Attorney John J. of Hyannis died unexpectedly Wednesday (December 9, 2015) at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. Mr. O'Neill, 75 years old, was a former news reporter for the Boston Herald for over 20 years before completing law school and leaving the news business to practice law. During his newspaper career, Mr. O'Neill covered major news events in New England during the 1960s through 1980s. He thoroughly enjoyed the comradery of newspaper life and vividly recalled stories and incidents which he often entertained his family and friends in relating the stories which included governors down to the everyday man in the street. John loved to tell stories about his experiences. He began his legal career in Boston and practiced law in Boston Municipal Court, South Boston District Court, Charlestown District Court and East Boston District Court. Following retirement to Hyannis, Mr. O'Neill practiced law on the Cape and in Falmouth District Court. He was dubbed with the nickname "Scooter" in his early teens and was known by the appellation by professional associates, family and friends throughout his life. Often in court the presiding judge would refer to him as "Scooter" when addressing him on a legal point. Scooter was an affable gentleman and performed more "Pro Bono" legal work than most of his peers. Mr. O'Neill enjoyed traveling and visited the homesteads of his parents in Ireland. With his wife Sandy he traveled throughout New England and often attended concerts at Tanglewood as well as the Boston Symphony. An avid sailor, Mr. O'Neill enjoyed the ocean and in particular cruising the Caribbean Sea. A karaoke fan, Mr. O'Neill also enjoyed impersonating Frank Sinatra. He was born in the Old Harbor Housing Project in South Boston to the late John J. O'Neill of Kealkil, County Cork, and Mary E. McDonough, of Lettermore, County Galway both in Ireland. He moved to Dorchester in his early teens. Mr. O'Neill enlisted in the Massachusetts National Guard in his youth. He attended Roxbury Memorial High School, Suffolk University and Suffolk University Law School. Mr. O'Neill is survived by his wife, Sandra Greene O'Neill, three daughters; Mrs. Katherine O'Neill Nelson and her husband Robert Nelson of Marshfield, and their children Gabriel and Alaine; Mrs. Patricia O'Neill Flynn and her husband William Flynn, and their son Daniel of Sandwich and Jennifer O'Neill Rembelski, and her husband Michael Rembelski and their children Olivia and Michael of Timnath, Colorado. He is also survived by his sisters Mrs. Irene Alves and Mrs. Kathleen McGinn and her husband John McGinn. He was predeceased by his brother Eugene O'Neill (BPD), Mrs. Ann Schnitzlein and Eileen O'Neil. John is also survived by many nieces and nephews. His funeral will be from Doane, Beal & Ames Funeral Home, 160 West Main Street, HYANNIS, with visiting hours on Thursday, December 17, 2015 from 4:00 7:00 P.M. with a Funeral Service Friday, December 18 at 11:00 A.M. in the Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Centerville at Beechwood Cemetery. Donations in John's name could be made to the New England Society for Abandoned Animals, P.O. Box 1041, Osterville, MA 02655. Their website is www.nesaa.org and their telephone number is (508) 771-7800.
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Published in Boston Herald on Dec. 14, 2015