William J. O'Neill, Ph.D.

  • Born: February 7, 1938
  • Died: July 25, 2010
  • Location: Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

Iowa Cremation

4200 First Ave. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Tel. (888) 871-3361

Tribute & Message From The Family

William J. O’Neill, Ph.D., 72, of Mt. Pleasant, IA died Sunday, July 25, 2010 in his home following a lengthy battle with emphysema.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 Saturday, July 31, at the Church of the Open Bible with the Rev. Harold Schutte officiating. Iowa Cremation is assisting the family. The family will receive guests at the church 45 minutes prior to the service.

Survivors include his wife, Thelma; Son, Barry O’Neill of Urbandale; Daughter, Elizabeth O’Neill-Rich and son in law Joe Rich of Ottumwa; a grandson, William Rich; Mother, Helen VanGombos of Cincinnati, OH; Brother, John O’Neill of Cincinnati, OH, Beloved pet, Jack; and several nieces and nephews.

His father, brother, sister, and grandchild preceded him in death.

William James O’Neill was born February 7, 1938 in Cincinnati, OH. William joined Congregation of Christian Brothers in West Park, New York and served as a brother from 1955-1962. William was a member of the Franciscan Alumni Association. On June 15, 1973 he married Thelma Niemi at Seattle, WA. He was an educator for 46 years including his role as teacher for all grades, counselor, principal, college professor for private and community colleges, and community college administrator. William retired from Southeastern Community College in 2005. William valued education earning a bachelor’s degree; two masters degrees and a doctorate degree. He encouraged his children and students to see the lifetime value in education. William’s interests included religious history, ethics and literature. He loved all music and played the piano and organ. William enjoyed ballroom dancing and photography. Over his lifetime Bill had three dogs Eli, Doc, and Jack; he considered them to be his friends. William was known for his loyalty to family and friends. He credited his wife Thelma and the birth of his children Elizabeth and Barry for making his life a joyous one. His grandson and namesake William Joseph Rich was a particular source of joy.

Memorials may be sent in his name to the John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute, 540 E. Jefferson, Suite 305, Iowa City, IA 52245.