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Mary H. O'Neil


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Date published: 4/2/2013

Mary H. O'Neil

Mary Helen O'Neil of the Falls Run community in Stafford County died on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, after a brave fight against complications arising from pancreatic cancer. The devoted wife of Jim O'Neil, they were to celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary this Fourth of July.

Mary was born Mary Helen Apolis in South Boston, Mass., of an immigrant mother. She graduated from South Boston High School where she once observed "if you go to South Boston High, you don't go to college." But she talked her mother into allowing her to attend South Boston High, as opposed to the local Catholic high school, because all graduates were given scholarship grants to help pay for college. Mary graduated with a degree in mathematics from Boston University in 1949, where she also met her husband, James Francis O'Neil.

She initially worked at General Electric as a mathematician. After raising four children, she re-entered the workforce taking a job as a computer specialist for the Army Map Service. When she retired, she was able to devote more time to her passions, notably her grown family, grandchildren and duplicate bridge tournaments. Mary and Jim spent some 10 years touring the country, visiting almost every state as well as Mexico, Canada, Bermuda--sightseeing and attending bridge tournaments.

Mary was predeceased by grandson Ryan O'Neil. She leaves behind her husband, Jim; four children, Michael O'Neil of Tempe, Ariz., Linda O'Neil (with husband Sebastian Alston) of Tallahassee Fla., Patricia Montanio (with husband Thomas) of Dunn Loring, and Lucille "Charlie" O'Neil (with husband Joseph Valasek) of Glen Allen; and eight wonderful grandchildren, Heather, Sean and Matthew O'Neil, Bryan, Kyle and Ian Montanio, and Tyler and Kristen Valasek.

Mary was active in many Falls Run programs, duplicate bridge clubs, poker, bingo, and casino activities. She was a Diamond Life Master of the American Contract Bridge League and had the distinction of having the most Master Points, nearly 7,500, of anyone in the Greater Fredericksburg area.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg Chapel.

Mary requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity, Box 8265, Fredericksburg, Va. 22404-8265, or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105. A wonderful final gift from a very generous person.

Online guest book is at covenantfuneralservice.com.