Bonnie Jean (BJ) Britt O'Neal BJ was born in Logansport, Indiana, on March 9, 1941, and died in Austin, Texas, on April 15, 2006. She faced the lung cancer that took her life with the same grace, courage, and wit that she brought to all life's challenges. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Anatomy and Physiology. She married Joe O'Neal in 1966 and both felt fortunate to have found the loves of their lives and soul mates. BJ and Joe served in the Peace Corps in Ghana from 1966-1968, where BJ taught biology and other science courses in New Drobo Secondary School. After her return from Ghana, she worked for several years at the University of Texas and at the U.S. Geological Survey as a researcher. Starting in the early 1970s, BJ held various positions at the Austin Public Library, then at the UT Library System until 1995. During this period she also studied art at Austin Community College and St. Edward's University, working as a studio artist and freelance commercial artist. BJ's creative talents extended to playing both the guitar and the piano, as well as the publication of short stories and reminiscences. As an artist, she taught and inspired other people to take up painting, teaching the basics of the craft. BJ loved her husband, her mother, cats, world music, National Public Radio, Mexican food, girls' days out, the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood, and most of all her friends. She is survived by her husband, Joe O'Neal, of Austin, her mother, Frances Britt, and her sister, Becky Britt, both of Lafayette, Indiana. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 13, at 2:00 p.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel on the St. Edward's University campus. Her friends are invited to attend and share their memories of BJ.
Published by Austin American-Statesman on Apr. 26, 2006.