December 9, 1953 – April 5, 2019
With profound sadness we announce the passing of James (Jim) O’Neill, our loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, on April 5, 2019. He leaves his wife of 43 years, Debra (Adamski) O’Neill; his daughter, Megan O’Neill; his son and daughter-in law, Matthew and Sydney O’Neill; his beloved grandson Joseph O’Neill; his sister, Mary Ann Feuerstein; and many other close family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Alexander and Mary (Grandinetti) O’Neill.
Jim was born on December 9, 1953 in Clifton, NJ. After attending Clifton High School, he received his bachelor’s degree in Geology from Montclair College in Montclair, NJ in 1976 and began a long career in construction and engineering. On September 28, 1976, he married the love of his life, Debra Ann Adamski. He and Debra settled in Midlothian, VA, where he raised his family and continued his successful career, retiring as a Project Director from Alstom Power in 2016.
In his personal life, Jim had an undying passion for the natural world. As a young man, he backpacked through Colorado, Western Canada, and Alaska. You could often find him at the bottom of his driveway, viewing the moon, planets, and meteor showers with his telescope. He continued his love of geology with an extensive collection of rocks, crystals, and minerals, often gifting them to others as a sign of his love and friendship. Jim was also at his happiest by the ocean, and he shared many amazing sunrises with his family at his favorite beaches in North Carolina.
Jim was an enthusiastic sports fan, who cheered on his New York Yankees even as a Virginian. He spent many years as a coach, umpire, and board member of Huguenot Little League and was also an avid golfer.
Post retirement, his focus to turned to new creative pursuits, including collecting and repairing vintage pocket watches and mural painting. Above all, his last years were spent creating new memories with his family: traveling with his wife and children, spoiling his dogs, and singing and reading with his new grandson.
One of the most defining values of Jim’s life was his commitment to mentoring others. He did this by nurturing deep, authentic relationships, and he was a source of guidance and support for many. He, along with his wife Deb, created a home that was a safe and loving haven for so many people. Through Jim, you saw the embodiment of “right action,” and of benevolence and generosity. Through Jim, you learned philosophy, spirituality, and the importance of being yourself and choosing your own path.
Jim strongly believed that this life is just a precursor to the next great adventure, and we hold that belief in our hearts even in the face of our overwhelming grief. A celebration of his life will be held April 17, 2019 from 3 to 5 pm at Woody Funeral Home, 1020 Huguenot Rd., Midlothian, VA 23113. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Feedmore.org or Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) at http://grscan.com .
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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- Alexander O'Neill, Father
- Mary Grandinetti O'Neill, Mother
- He leaves his wife of 43 years, Debra (Adamski) O’Neill; his daughter, Megan O’Neill; his son and daughter-in law, Matthew and Sydney O’Neill; his beloved grandson Joseph O’Neill; his sister, Mary Ann Feuerstein; and many other close family members and friends.
- Visitation Wednesday, April 17, 2019
- Memorial Service Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Colleen Capuzzi Uliano
April 17, 2019
Dear Aunt Deb, Matt, Megan, Sydney and baby Joe and the entire family,
My deepest condolences on your loss. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers! Sending love to VA!
Colleen Capuzzi Uliano
Linda and Victir Grasso
April 16, 2019
Debra, Meghan and Matthew and Family: We are so very sorry to hear about Jim. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love. Linda and Victor
April 11, 2019
Baseball was the connection I had with Jim. He coached me for two Little League seasons when Matt and I were on the same Pirates team in '93 and '94. He loved the game but most of all, you could tell he loved pouring into Matt and his baseball team. I don't have many memories of my own Dad (who passed in 1999) but I know Jim and my Dad were friends because of their shared passion for Little League baseball.
This world is a little less bright without Jim. My sincere condolences to Debra, Megan and Matt.