Published in the November 9, 2015 edition.
WAKEFIELD — Robert E. O’Neil, 95, of Wakefield, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Nov. 4 at the VA Hospital in Bedford.
Bob was the husband of the late Mary “Lynn” O’Neil, who died on May 27, 2002. They were married for 59 years.
Bob was born on July 1, 1920 at home in Jamaica Plain. He was the son of the late J. Richard Sr. and Loretta Fitzpatrick O’ Neil. Bob was a graduate of Brighton High School, Class of 1937.
Bob joined the Army in 1942 and transferred to the Army Air Corps in 1943. Bob excelled and was recruited into the aviation program. Bob graduated flying school as a navigator on July 3, 1943. He served proudly and heroically during World War II. Bob flew in many wartime missions. His plane and crew led the 434th Troop carrier group carrying 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Bob was awarded four prestigious medals during his time in the service, including the Air Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged in March of 1946.
After the military, Bob joined his father’s company, J. Richard O’Neil Company in Cambridge, where the firm was founded. The company later moved to North Attleboro where Bob worked until his retirement in 1996.
Bob was an avid golfer and naturally talented athlete. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Bob could build anything and he thoroughly enjoyed working on his home and took pride in working with his hands.
Bob is survived by five daughters: Marilyn O’Neil of Halowell, Maine, Loretta Sturk of Cary, N.C., Roberta O’Neil of Wakefield, Julie St. Pierre of Boscawen, N.H., and Cheryl O’Neil of Shapleigh, Maine. Bob was also the father of the late Kathleen Feener of Essex. Bob is also survived by his sister, Joan Acord of Maine; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his two brothers, J. Richard O’Neil Jr. of Wrentham, and David F. O’Neil of North Attleboro.
They don’t make men like Bob O’Neil any more. If you were lucky enough to meet him, you never forgot him. And he never forgot you.
A funeral will be held from McDonald Funeral Home at 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield, on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 9:15 a.m. followed by a funeral Mass in St. Joseph Church, 173 Albion St., Wakefield at 10:15. Interment to follow at Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield.
Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the funeral home on Monday, Nov. 9, from 3 to 7 p.m.