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James Dennis O'Neill
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Obituary for James Dennis O'Neill

James Dennis O’Neill
February 28, 1926 – April 9, 2018

James O’Neill, born on February 28, 1926 to the proud parents of Dennis and Kathleen O’Neill, passed away on April 9, 2018.

James, known as Jim to family and friends, grew up in Detroit with seven brothers and sisters (Dan, Robert, Molly, Nora, Pat, Kathleen, and Peggy). He attended St. Leo’s and St. Theresa Catholic Schools.

Jim enlisted in the Navy at 17 years old and fought for his country during World War II on the battle ship USS West Virginia during the bombardment and occupation of Leyte, Mindoro, and Lingayen in the Philippine Islands; the Naval Battle of Surigao Straights; and the bombardments of Okinawa and Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands.

After returning home, Jim joined a Roman Catholic singles club that went on various outings. On a skiing trip to Bear Mountain, Jim met the girl of his dreams, Margaret (Marge) Mary Kreager. After a whirlwind courtship, Marge and Jim were married a half a year later on October 25, 1952.

Marge and Jim started their family in Detroit – Mike was born in 1954, Tim in 1955, Maureen in 1957, and Dennis in 1962. In 1964, the O’Neill’s moved to Southfield where the children attended Catholic schools. The family built a cottage in Lexington, Michigan overlooking Lake Huron where they spent all their summers and created many happy memories.

Jim worked for the Ethyl Corporation, a fuel additive company founded in 1923 by General Motors and Standard Oil of New Jersey (Esso). During his 32 year career, Jim obtained numerous patents for the Ethyl Corporation.

After Jim retired from Ethyl in 1985, he an Marge escaped to Florida during the cold Michigan winters and took several trips to Europe seeing the world and tracing their Irish and German heritage.

As a person, Jim worked tirelessly to provide for his family. He loved working with his hands and always had a project going to build everything from a trapeze and monkey bars in the family’s basement to their cottage in Lexington. He was gregarious and quick with a joke, frugal but generous, opinionated but amiable. He was a son, brother, veteran, husband, dad, grandfather, and friend – he was loved and will be missed.

Jim is survived by his children: Mike, Tim (Mary), Maureen (Anne), and Dennis (Patricia). He is also survived by his grandchildren: Kelly (Pete), Kristy, Kevin (Jasmin), Ann, and Claire.
Jim was preceded in death by Margaret (Marge) Mary Kreager his loving wife of 56 years and his siblings Dan, Robert, Molly, Nora, Pat, Kathleen, and Peggy.

Memorial visitation and service at the Sawyer-Fuller Funeral Home (2125 W. 12 Mile Rd in Berkley, MI) from 5:00pm to 6:15pm on Saturday, April 21st followed by a memorial dinner at Farina Banquet Hall (2485 Coolidge Hwy in Berkley, MI).

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Previous Events





5:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Sawyer-Fuller Funeral Home & Cremation Services

2125 Twelve Mile Road
Berkley, MI 48072





5:30 PM
Sawyer-Fuller Funeral Home & Cremation Services

2125 Twelve Mile Road
Berkley, MI 48072


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