Honorable John H. O'Neil

August 17, 1927August 19, 2013
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John H. O’Neil, retired presiding judge of the second District Court in Fall River, passed away Monday, August 19, 2013 at Southcoast Hospital in Fall River. Born and raised in St. Peter and Paul’s Parish, he was a lifelong resident of the City. He was the husband of the late Pauline Gallant O’Neil, the son of the late Henry F. and Margaret Conroy O’Neil; and brother of the late Francis J. O’Neil, the late Margaret Crowley, and the late Kathleen Liberi. Before his appointment to the bench (by former Governor Edward King), Judge O’Neil practiced law in Fall River for twenty seven years. Along with his Partnership with John F. O’Donoghue, in the firm of O’Donoghue and O’Neil, he was a special assistant attorney general, and prior to these positions he was an assistant superior court magistrate. His dedication to the law was matched by his dedication to his community through his long time active involvement with the Boys and Girls Club of Fall River, and his former service as a city councilor.

Among his many interests, were his lengthy membership in the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, his devotion to golf and the Mountaup Country Club stands out. His faith was a great comfort to him, particularly in the more challenging recent years. He raised his family in Sacred Heart Parish, after that became a parishioner of Holy Name Parish. In acknowledgement of his legal accomplishments and his religious faith, he was awarded the Thomas More Medal by the Fall River Diocese. He graduated from Providence College and Suffolk University Law School. His greatest loves were his late wife Pauline, and his family, which includes seven children, eight grandchildren, two sons-in-law, and two daughters –in-law. His most obvious attributes were his enduring will, his commitment to fairness, and his willingness to sacrifice all for his family. He will be missed.

He is survived by his daughters Attorney Mary O’Neil of Fall River, Dr. Margaret O’Neil of Philadelphia, Polly Feitelberg and her husband John along with their children John Henry, Hannah, Ben, and Paulina, all of Fall River; and Kate Genthner and her husband Scot of Fairhaven. He is also survived by his sons the Honorable John C. O’Neil, Clerk Magistrate of the Fall River District Court and his wife JoAnne of Fall River, along with their children Leah Rachael, and John Andrew; Brian O’Neil and his wife Lori, along with their daughter Annie, all of Dartmouth; Brendan O’Neil of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also survived by his sisters Grace Edwards of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Cornelia Gallant of Fall River, as well as many nieces and nephews.

His Funeral will be held Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 9:00AM from the WARING-SULLIVAN HOME OF MEMORIAL TRIBUTE at CHERRY PLACE, 178 Winter St., Fall River, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00AM in Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover St., Fall River. Visiting hours Wednesday from 4:00 to 8:00PM. Contributions in his honor may be made to the Thomas Chew Memorial Boys and Girls Club of Fall River, 803 Bedford St. Fall River, MA. 02720. Burial in St. Patrick Cemetery, Fall River.


  • Visitation Wednesday, August 21, 2013
  • Funeral Mass Thursday, August 22, 2013
  • Burial Thursday, August 22, 2013

Honorable John H. O'Neil

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nancy carroll-vezina

September 3, 2013

To the entire O'NEIL FAMILY,please accept my deepest sympathy at the passing of your loved one,a true gentleman keep memories close during this difficult time

Susan Pires

August 23, 2013

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your dad, brother, and grandfather. I guess the thunder the other day was actually all the applause for his arrival in the great beyond!

Bill Curtis

August 22, 2013

John and Family:

Condolences on the loss of your Dad. A true gentleman and longtime family friend will be missed

Richard Grace

August 22, 2013

I will always recall John O'Neil as a man of integrity and kindly friendship.
He is an alumnus of PC that the college can remember with great pride, as his life brought honor to his alma mater. My deep sympathy to Kate (my former student) and to all of the O'Neill family.
Richard Grace

Joanne Rago

August 21, 2013

On behalf of the late Adele D. Rago, and family, our deepest sympathy goes out to the O'Neil family. My late mother went to St. Peter and Paul's School with John O'Neil and he always represented her during his law practice. He was a great person, and he always reminised about the old days, and they would share a laugh. He will be missed by the many lives he touched. Sincerely, Joanne Rago West Frankfort, Illinois

Paul & Anne Furze

August 21, 2013

We were so sorry to hear of "His Honor's" passing. His wit and wisdom will be sorely missed. He always had that twinkle in his eye and a friendly smile and was a great friend of the family's. Keep him in your hearts and they will be warmer for it.

Donna Gablinske

August 21, 2013

Deepest Sympathy to the Family from the Board of Governors, Staff and Members of Montaup Country Club.

August 21, 2013

Memories of Saturday nights at Stone Bridge Inn with the O'neils, the
Hagues, the Hacketts, the Reillys, the Delaneys, the Hollands, all parents of large broods are recalled with fondness.
Good night, John, God Bless
Ed and Arlene Monarch

Cindy Dunn

August 21, 2013

Maggie, John, to the entire O'Neil family, I was so sorry to hear of your father's passing, he was such a good man; love and respect to all of you.
God Bless his soul, he is in Heaven with your Mom. Stay strong, your Dad would want that. Love, Cindy Dunn

Barbara Gallant Medeiros

August 21, 2013

My deepest sympathy to all the O,Neil family as well as Mrs. Gallant. I was part of this family for a short period of time and could not be prouder to say I knew this man, Judge O'Neil. He was a giver. He helped me out several times when I was in need. One thing I do and will always remember is his laughter. He laughed so hard-heartly. The road the family will have to follow is a long and rough one. They say time will heal. But I am sorry to say that believe me when I say it will be a long time before anyone will get over the loss of such a great man. Love and prayers always.