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John J. "Jack" O'Neill

John J. "Jack" O'Neill Obituary
John J. "Jack" O'Neill

GRANVILLE: A Mass of Christian Burial for John J. "Jack" O'Neill, 94, of Granville, will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, November 22, 2014 at the Church of Saint Edward the Confessor, 785 Newark-Granville Road, Granville, with Monsignor Paul P. Enke as celebrant. A private graveside service will be held in Maple Grove Cemetery in Granville.

On Sunday, November 16th, Jack left us to join his beloved wife, Betsy, in the next world. He was an extraordinary man and a wonderful father.

Born on September 7, 1920 to Irish immigrant parents in Greenwich, Connecticut; as a beneficiary of the GI Bill, he graduated in 1947 from Yale University with a BA in Economics. While at Yale, he met Elizabeth (Betsy) Eaton from Granville, Ohio. He pursued Betsy with his signature single-mindedness, and in 1947 they were married. In 1953, they moved to Granville to raise their family. Their 65 years of marriage resulted in five children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Jack's family was unfailingly his highest priority, and he was, until his death, actively involved in the lives of every member of all three generations. He was an absolute source of support and encouragement, and it continually brought him great joy to see them move successfully along their diverse and chosen paths.

Jack also greatly changed the community over his 64 years as a business and civic community member. Upon moving to Licking County in 1953, he began building National Homes to meet the housing needs of returning WWII veterans and formed Southgate Development Corporation to help develop Heath, Ohio into the expansive retail and residential community that it is today. In the 1960's, he began developing the Newark Ohio Industrial Park in Hebron, bringing industries to the community that eventually employed over 4,000 people. Over the decades, Jack continually looked for ways to meet the needs of surrounding communities by developing industrial parks in Columbus, Etna, Cambridge, and Marysville. Until the end of his life, Jack continued to work, first as President and then as Chairman of his company.

Jack was a two-term President and then a Director Emeritus of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). He was a Director of Park National Bank and Park National Corporation from 1964 until the last year of his life.

A very strong believer in education, he served first as a Trustee and then a Life Trustee of Denison University. He was member of the President's Club of The Ohio State University, and actively participated in the initial establishment and providing on-going support of the Newark Campus of The Ohio State University.

He was the quintessential example of a life well lived. To the end, he maintained that he was the luckiest person he knew, that today had been a great day, and that tomorrow would be even better. He died surrounded by the devoted family members that he so deeply loved and that so deeply loved him. He will be greatly missed by his family members; daughter Nancy O'Neill and son-in-law Charles Childress of Austin, Texas, son Henry O'Neill and daughter-in-law Carol Muranaka of Honolulu, Hawaii, son John O'Neill and daughter-in-law Annette O'Neill of Portland, Oregon, son Bill O'Neill of Albuquerque, New Mexico; son Robert O'Neill and daughter-in-law Alexa Robinson-O'Neill of Granville; grandchildren Quinn Ryan, Regan, Kerry, Eaton, Cullen, Bryna, Natalie, Molly, Sally, Ellen and Alex O'Neill.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Church of Saint Edward.

Arrangements are in care of McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home in Granville. To sign an online guestbook or send condolences, please visit

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Licking County Memorial Health Foundation or St. Edward's Parish Fund.
Published in the Advocate from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, 2014
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