4/26/1942 ~ 12/22/2012
Our beloved wife, mother and Meemei, Marina Joy O'Neill, died peacefully at home here on December 22, following a 7-year-long struggle with breast cancer. She remained courageously resilient and focused on life until the very end.
Possessed of a brilliant mind and an artist's soul, she was known for her enduring relationships, intuitive nature, quick sense of humor, her love of beauty, music and dance and her amazing hot fudge recipe. But most important of all was her love for children. In addition to her lucky children and cherished grandchildren, she touched and forever changed the lives of the many little ones who crossed her path.
She created oil paintings and beautiful miniatures and restored, collected and arranged antique dolls and other treasures, as well as dabbling in poetry and psychology. As a newfound friend put it, "once you met her, you could not help but love her."
She was born in Naples, Italy on April 26, 1942 to the former Emily Marie Parish, a member of the US Foreign Service diplomatic corps, and her husband, the eminent physician, scientist and university professor, Dr. Michelangelo Rosano, of Rome. Her early years were spent in Rome, New York City, Washington, D.C., Paris and Texas.
It was in San Antonio that she met and married her lifelong love, Edward Joseph O'Neill, Jr. She was walked down the aisle by her stepfather, Gen. Roy E. Blount, on June 3, 1962. They made their home in Virginia and California and in recent years came to love Salt Lake City's Wasatch Mountains.
Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th anniversary this year and his devoted care for her during her illness was nothing short of heroic.
Together they brought four children into the world: Marina Siobhan, Shannon Marie, Traci Megan and Ted, aka Edward Michael Shane. Sons-in-law David James and Don Scheck also held a very special place in Mom's heart. Beloved grandchildren Blake and Brooklyn O'Neill and Ryan and Lia James were the pride and joys of her life.
Our family is grateful to the nurses and staff of Community Nursing Services Hospice, especially Dana, Carole, Ann and Debbie, without whom we could not have fulfilled Mom's wish to remain at home. Special thanks and affection go to Dr. Elizabeth Prystas and her wonderful staff.
To honor Meemei, take extra time for the children who are a part of your world. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Jude's Hospital, the Make A Wish Foundation or your favorite child-oriented charity are requested.
A private burial was held at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, with arrangements by Premier Funeral Services.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.premierfuneral.com.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Dec. 30, 2012