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1926 - 2019
IRMA E. O'NEAL Obituary

Irma E. O'Neal, of McKinney, TX, went to be with the Lord on Friday, July 5, 2019, at the age of 93. Irma Edna Schneider was born on February 4, 1926, in Rosenberg, Texas to Edward and Ida Schneider. She had an older brother, Eddie.

Having decided to give her life to Jesus at the age of nine and been baptized at the age of 13, Irma felt called to serve the Lord in some form of ministry while still a senior in high school. She decided then, she would pattern her life to live in God's service.

Irma graduated from the Vanderbilt High School and went on to attend Howard Payne College in Brownwood in 1944. When she arrived by train in Brownwood as a young college freshman, a young man named Boyd, who worked for Railway Express, helped with her big, heavy trunk and made sure it was delivered to her in good shape in her campus dorm building. This was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and courtship. Engagement followed in November 1944. Irma and Boyd were married on May 31, 1945, for 66 years, until Boyd passed away in 2011.

Both Irma and Boyd felt called to be missionaries to Brazil, so they prepared themselves to serve. They started their family and Irma attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary while Boyd pursued his seminary degree. They were appointed missionaries with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1949 and ministered in the state of Alagoas (Brazil) until she retired in 1988. Irma used her homemaking skills, wise counsel, and gentle, calm, caring spirit to minister to the many people she came in contact with throughout her lifetime. She joined other women and together they worked tirelessly in a girl's orphanage, camp programs, local church and women's ministries. She was a source of strength and support for Boyd while he also labored in ministry. She developed lasting relationships with people from all walks of life, anywhere she lived, be it in Brazil, Edna, Ft. Worth, Euless, Garland, or Richmond, Virginia. In McKinney, she joined the First Baptist Church, loved her Sunday school class and the people in it. She looked forward to attending the monthly Blanche Groves Women on Mission group meetings. She served her community through the CareGivers Ministry and she thoroughly enjoyed singing in the senior adult Jubilee Chorale.

Irma became Boyd's full-time caregiver for a few years. After Boyd's death, Irma found a friend in Oscar Holley. He joined Irma in ministering to the homebound Sunday school class members, telling others about Jesus, and meeting needs in their church community. Throughout her lifetime Irma worked diligently and took great care to provide a stable home environment for her family. To her children, Irma laid a foundation of faith and was a living example of perseverance and courage.

Irma is survived by her children, Melba Hogue and husband, Doug, Betty Brown, James Edward and wife, Cindy, and Rebecca Gore and husband, Ken; grandchildren, Maurice Brown and wife, Avriel, Rhanda Holden and husband, Michael, Tonya Brown, Juliann Deese, James O'Neal, Jr., Marion O'Neal and wife, Staci, and Jeremy Gore; great-grandchildren, Victoria Brown, Michael II and Nicole Holden, Kendall, John and Samantha Deese; her sister-in-law, Barbara Schneider; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Boyd; parents, Edward and Ida Schneider; brother, Eddie “Sonny” Schneider; son-in-law, John Brown; great-grandson, Luke Brown; and special friend, Oscar.

Irma kept a servant's heart and remained faithful to her Lord. Memorials, in Irma's honor, may be made to the International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, Virginia, 23230, or, First Baptist Church, 1615 W. Louisiana, McKinney, Texas, 75069.

A funeral service of thanksgiving for her life will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 13, 2019 at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home, 2525 Central Expressway North, Allen, Texas, with Dr. Kenneth Gore officiating. Interment will follow at Ridgeview Memorial Park, Allen, Texas. Pall bearers will be Maurice Brown, Jeremy Gore, Kyle Hogue, Michael Holden, Michael Holden II, James O'Neal, Jr., Marion O'Neal, and Charles Schneider. The family will receive friends during a visitation on Friday evening from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. To convey condolences or to sign an online registry, please visit TJMfuneral.com.
Published in Star Local Media from July 9 to July 15, 2019
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