John F. O'Neill, 73, a lifelong resident of Pleasant Mount, passed away at his new family home in Moscow, Pa., on February 9, 2013, with his family at his side following a two-year battle with esophageal cancer. He and his wife, Ruth, had moved from the village of Pleasant Mount to the new residence on December 27, 2012 to be closer to immediate family members in his battle with this terrible disease.|
John was born on the O'Neill family farm in the Rock Lake area of Mt. Pleasant Township on September 19, 1939, the third-eldest of the children of Paul E. and Eleanor M. Leonard O'Neill. The farm on which he was born has been owned by the family since 1828 and is still owned by family members, including John and his spouse. He attended and graduated from the Pleasant Mount High School, class of 1957.
On 9-23-61, John married Ruth Wik, a native of Finland, at St.Juliana's Church in Rock Lake, Pa. Ruth's family had moved to the U.S. following World War II first settling in New York City before moving on to Wayne County, Pa. Their marriage was blessed by three daughters and 11 grandchildren, the youngest grandchild being born six weeks before John passed away.
John was employed by Ingersoll Rand, an internationally recognized manufacturer of heavy-duty drilling equipment for 39 years, and at the time of his retirement he was the Sales Marketing Manager, Rotary Drill Division for Eastern North America. He retired from that position in 2006, when Ingersoll Rand sold that division to Atlas Copco of Sweden. However, he continued employment with Atlas Copco as a consultant until taken ill. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, he was a member of the PA National Guard, 109th Infantry, and assigned to Carbondale, PA. He was a member of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Pleasant Mount, where he served on the Finance Council.
John was an avid big-game hunter, hunting deer and bear in Wayne County and making many trips out West with local friends on their hunting expeditions for elk and mule deer. His favorite pastime though was operating heavy-duty construction equipment, particularly bulldozers and drilling equipment. That pastime led him in assisting many family members and friends throughout Northern Wayne County in building their homes, drilling their wells and improving their properties.
John is survived by Ruth, his partner in life for more than 51 years; daughters, Carolyn (Carrie) and her husband, James McCormick of Stewartsville, N.J. and their two sons, Ben and Michael; Theresa (Terry) and her husband, Carl Struss of Jefferson, Md.; and their five boys, Zachary, Jacob, Luke, John and Jared; and Shannon of Moscow, Pa.; and her husband, James Cawley and their four children, James, Patrick, Maeve and Elin Marie. He is also survived by four brothers and one sister, Kathy and her husband, Elwood Merring of Lake Ariel, Pa.; Dan and his wife, Alice of Honesdale, Pa.; Gerard of Pleasant Mount; Ben and his wife, Mary of Pleasant Mount, and Paul and his wife, Marie of Clifton Park, N.Y.; plus many nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 13, at 10 a.m. at St. Juliana's Church, Rock Lake. Interment will follow in St. Juliana's Cemetery.
Friends may visit Hessling Funeral Home Inc., 428 Main St., Honesdale, on Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Pleasant Mount or to Hospice of the Sacred Heart in Wilkes-Barre.
Published in Wayne Independent on Feb. 12, 2013