James Edward O’Neil, 71, of Apollo, formerly of Saxonburg, passed on Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 due to complications with COVID-19.
James was born on May 8, 1949 in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA, to his parents Edward John and Margaret Gertrude O’Neil. James was one of eight children. He graduated from Hampton High School in 1968 and briefly attended Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics before enlisting in the United States Navy, serving two deployments on the USS Saratoga as an aviation radar technician. After serving, he was certified as one of the first paramedics in the Pittsburgh area and provided care in various municipalities, including managing the South Hills Ambulance and Rescue System as executive supervisor. After leaving the EMS field, James worked as a Stationary Engineer for 25 years. James also served in local government first as a Codes Enforcement officer in Jefferson Township before being elected as township Supervisor.
James was an enthusiast of genealogy, developing his own website after over 40 years of researching 7 generations of the O’Neil family line. He engaged in fine scale modeling, developing a collection of United States’ aircraft and naval equipment. His value of education and history was evident in the wisdom he shared with those around him.
James is survived by his daughter and six sons, Christine (John) Shuler, David (Amanda), Edward, Sean (Katie), Michael (Chelsea), Joseph (Gara), and James T. O’Neil; nine grandchildren, Christopher, Chase, Johanna Shuler, Adriana & Cara O’Neil, Nathan, Nick & Everett O’Neil, and Claire O’Neil; former wife, Evelyn (Wally) McMarlin; and dear friend, Helen Novak.
Due to the pandemic, a private service will be held. A celebration of life will be held later.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Vietnam Veterans of America.
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