Published in the June 2, 2017 edition

Catherine-O'Neil-obit-webMELROSE — Catherine Frances (McNamara) O’Neil, 81, of Melrose, died peacefully surrounded by family on May 24, 2017.

Catherine was born in Cambridge on March 31, 1935 to John and Catherine (Lyons) McNamara. She was raised in Cambridge and Somerville, and was a graduate of Somerville High School. Catherine married the late Edward J. O’Neill in 1958 at St. Anne’s Church in Somerville. They enjoyed a wonderful marriage and were devoted to raising their children.

Catherine was a proud resident of Melrose for 50 years. Everyone around the city will surely miss her sparkling blue eyes and bright smile. Catherine enjoyed taking trips to York, Maine, and even made a memorable trip to Ireland. She loved the Boston Red Sox, hardly ever missing a game and could name every player on the team. She even named her dog Nomar. Although she was a huge Red Sox fan, her children and grandchildren were always number one in her heart. Over the years, she attended hundreds of sporting events for her children and grandchildren, always making an effort to be there to support them. Catherine’s family was the brightest part of her life. She brought out the best in all of them and was always happiest when she was surrounded by them. She will be truly missed by all who had the privilege to know her.

Catherine was the beloved wife of the late Edward J. O’Neill. She was the loving mother of Arthur O’Neill and his wife Barbara of Melrose; Mary Battistelli and her husband David of Beverly; Catherine Martin and her husband Thomas Jr. of Canton; Joseph O’Neill and his wife Ellen of Melrose; John O’Neill and his wife Ann Marie of Stoneham; Carol Denning and her husband William Jr. of Melrose; and Robert O’Neill and his wife Rose of Wakefield. She was the proud and devoted grandmother of Katie, Kelly, Sean, Lauren, Brett, Erin, Allie, Jen, Kelly, Michael, Danny, Kevin, Meaghan, Molly, Mairead, Billy, Colleen, Catherine, Giuliana, Edward and Joseph. She was the caring sister of Mary Passanessi, Robert McNamara, Claire Hurley, and the late Francis McNamara, Helen Fuller and Edward McNamara.

Visiting Hours were held on Friday, May 26, 2017 at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 West Foster St., Melrose. Funeral from the Gately Funeral Home took place on Saturday, May 27, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 1155 Main St., Wakefield. Interment took place in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Catherine’s name to the Melrose High School Permanent Scholarship Fund. To send a message of condolence, please visit