John "David" O'Neall
Sept. 27, 1940 - Jan. 23, 2021
COOKSVILLE - John "David" O'Neall died peacefully on January 23, 2021 in Bloomington, Illinois at the age of 80.
David is survived by wife, Nancy: children; Amy (Jim) Nikolai, Julia (Bill) Wilson, and Nicholas (Angie) O'Neall. Siblings: Donald (Sharon) O'Neall, Elaine O'Neall, Martin (Pam) O'Neall. Grandchildren: Abigail (Robert) D'Valentine, Rebecca (Derek) Talbot, Joseph Nikolai, Hannah Wilson, Olivia Wilson/Ryan Bott, Austin (Michelle) O'Neall, Jacob O'Neall/Katrina Vroman, Megan O'Neall, Caitlin Asper, PFC Patrick Asper. Sisters-in-law: Jennifer Miller, Vickie (Dennis) Butler, Michelle Heidelberg and many special nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his parents John and Mildred (Smithson) O'Neall.
David was born on September 27, 1940 in Bloomington, Illinois. He began his education in a one room school house, Lincoln School, before graduating from Ellsworth High School. He later graduated with a degree in Agriculture Mechanics from the University of Illinois. David married Nancy Keene on February 2, 1963, she survives. They were blessed with 58 years of a wonderful marriage. David spent one year in Fairfield, NC working as a Farm Manager. The majority of David's professional career was working 50 years on the 7 generation family farm.
His wife, children and grandchildren remember him as a man with a love for God. He was truly a faithful servant. He was very proud of his grandchildren, encouraging them in their life dreams, providing guidance and support. Family gatherings and vacations were special to him. He had a goal every day of learning something new. His passion for woodworking was shared in all the projects he completed for others. He also had a way of making everyone he spoke to feel special. Folks from the community sought his spiritual guidance especially during times of loss and searching. His gift helped him officiate 70 funerals.
David was a devoted Christian and an active lifelong member of the Ellsworth United Methodist Church, serving in various capacities including teaching Sunday School. His dedication to teaching actually started while in college. David participated in the ecumenical Walk to Emmaus/Great Banquet, including its prison ministries. He was blessed by participating in a faithful small group for the last 36 years. He was a member of the Central Illinois Woodworkers Club. He enjoyed helping the club make school desks that were sent to children in other countries. He learned a lot while serving on both the Octavia School Board and the McLean County Zoning Board. David and Nancy shared fond memories of traveling the United States with their Airstream friends. He always enjoyed gathering for card club or dinner at Moraine View State Park with their longtime friends.
A private family funeral is scheduled for Saturday, January 30th at the Ellsworth United Methodist Church in Ellsworth, Illinois. The family does ask for continued prayers for David and the family. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Ellsworth United Methodist Church or the Bloomington/Normal Great Banquet P.O. Box 707, Bloomington, IL 61702. See www.calvertbelangeebruce.com for tribute wall and recorded services.