Samuel Eugene O'Neil was born March 13, 1984, in Farmington, N.M., to Rory O'Neil and Nancy O'Neil (Brown). He graduated from Carlsbad High School in 2002. While attending public schools he had several of his poems published and became quite the amateur paleontologist. He was also an altar server while attending St. Edward Catholic Church. After graduating from high school, he continued his education at Eastern New Mexico University where he earned a B.S. in psychology and anthropology. While attending college he worked for Eddy County during summers to earn money for his education. He was currently contemplating post graduate studies; he wanted to become a counselor so that he could help others. Despite his medical problems he had a very kind personality where he was always concerned more about the feelings of others over his own. He also liked to work with his hands and enjoyed helping his father remodel houses. Over the years he had lived in Portales, Tularosa, and Ruidoso before moving back to Carlsbad.
His brother Pat wanted to include the following: "Samuel had many humane attributes and a profound logic that is a rare quality. The feelings of others were very important to Sam. He always worked very diligently toward his goals. My best memories of him were as a kid, he was always reading about dinosaurs and knew more about them than some experts. Rest in peace, your brother Patrick".
His sister Christine writes, "… my brother "Sam" has a heart of gold and a halo around his soul, one that was honest as Abe and always went out of his way to help another. His heart was huge and very sensitive, always giving, worrying, a true gentleman to a perfect "T". Very humorous and always one to make you laugh till your "bones would rattle and your stomach hurt".
His mother, Nancy writes, "Samuel is a Hebrew name meaning "God Heard" or "His name is God". God heard my prayers the day He gave me such a son as you, and indeed Sam, you were too good for this world: and so it is fitting that your name is God's name too. May the Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you Sam. I love you and you will always be sorely missed. I know you would not want me to mourn your life, so I celebrate it, Sam. I celebrate the gift God gave me almost 27 years ago. You, along with your older brother Patrick, and your two younger sisters, Cathy and Christine, have given me the greatest joy I have known. If God takes me today, I will consider myself the luckiest mom on earth. Patrick says to me sometimes, "Bye for now, but not forever". I say that to you now Sam, because I know I will meet up with you in heaven someday".
Visitation will be 5–7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, at Denton-Wood Funeral Home.
A vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, at Denton-Wood Funeral Home, 1001 N. Canal St., Carlsbad, N.M. Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, at St. Edward Catholic Church, 201 N. Guadalupe St., Carlsbad, N.M., with Father Cyprian Uline officiating. Interment will follow in Sunset Gardens Memorial Park.
Survivors are his sisters, Catherine (currently serving in the US Army in Iraq) and Christine of Tularosa, N.M., his brother Patrick of Alamogordo, his mother Nancy O'Neil of Tularosa, his father Rory O'Neil of Carlsbad, his step-mother Stacy O'Neil (Burditt) of Carlsbad, his grandmother Ruth Brown of La Luz, N.M., and his grandparents Harold and Clara O'Neil of Roswell, N.M. He was preceded in death by his grandfather (Big Daddy) Robert B. Brown and an aunt, Shari O'Neil.
Pallbearers will be Michael O'Neil, Rory O'Neil, Patrick O'Neil and Anthony Strickland. Honorary pallbearer is Kyle O'Neil.
Denton-Wood Funeral Home
1001 North Canal Street Carlsbad, NM 88220
Published in Carlsbad Current-Argus on Feb. 21, 2011