James Tyler O’Neill, Jr.

James Tyler O’Neill, Jr.

Passed: June 30, 2024
Charleston, WV

James Tyler O’Neill, Jr.

Passed: June 30, 2024
Charleston, WV


James Tyler O’Neill, Jr., “Jim,” age 92, of Charleston, WV, escaped this mortal realm on Sunday, June 30th, 2024, leaving behind 28 boxes of Raspberry Pop-Tarts, 45 frozen Great Value Bean Burritos and multitudes of other random items that would prove helpful in the event of a zombie apocalypse or another pandemic.

Jim died peacefully surrounded by family at his Charleston, WV, home. He was welcomed into the loving arms of his heavenly Father and greeted by the love of his life, Irene Agnes O’Neill, who had been awaiting his arrival since her passing in 2003, along with his parents Vera and James, his son James Tyler O’Neill III and his daughter Colleen O’Neill.

Jim is survived by his children: Mary O’Neill, Peggy Melia (Gary), Drew O’Neill, and Irene O’Neill; his brother, Thomas O’Neill, and his grandchildren: James Tyler O’Neill IV (El Quatro), Sean, Meredith and Griffin Melia, and Walker and Serena O’Neill.

Jim was born on May 27, 1932, in Natchez, MS, and spent his summers on his grandfather’s farm in Louisiana. After graduating St Joseph’s Catholic High School (1950), Jim traveled the world: He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Philosophy from Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1956), where he studied to be a priest, taking all of his classes in Latin. To the relief of his children, he decided not to become a priest and became a Navy Lieutenant to travel the world and – to his mother’s dismay – learn how to swear like a sailor. Jim finished his tour in Brooklyn, NY, when he met the love of his life, Irene, on a blind date in October 1959. He was engaged 7 weeks and 3 days after meeting Irene, married her in Brooklyn (1960) and started his family in 1963 with James Tyler O’Neill III. To his father’s dismay, who warned him never to be an accountant, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from St John’s University (1963) with an Accounting degree.

Jim spent many years commuting into Manhattan working as a CPA and traveling during tax season. In 1976, Jim moved his wife and five children to Charleston, WV, and he worked the remainder of his career as an accountant at Union Carbide. In Charleston, Irene and Jim added their last child, Irene Marie, to their crew.

Jim’s life was a life of service. His main hobby was house and yard maintenance, forced primarily by having six children and a small bankbook balance. The majority of his maintenance consisted of duct tape, cutting down all living landscape and talking the ear off the handymen he hired. His main focus was providing for his family, supporting the Catholic Church, in part by having so many children, volunteering his accounting skills to Sacred Heart bingo, serving on the Sacred Heart Funeral Service Group, and sending all of his children and some of his grandchildren to Catholic school. He joyfully volunteered for 15+ years at Hubbard Hospice House where Irene had passed. He made friends for life with the nuns and priests and loved driving the nuns home after daily mass. He was devoted to the support and care of his daughter, Colleen O’Neill, who had a disability after suffering the equivalent of a stroke when she was 18. He was in loving service to her until she shocked us all and joined her Heavenly Father in March, 2021.

Jim never met a person that he who couldn’t talk to. Many people called him “a Hoot.” He loved laughing, talking, sharing his stories from his past, telling you his no bullshit way of seeing things, wearing black socks with shorts and loafers, polo shirts with pockets for his wallet and a to do list written on the back of a used envelope, all things JAG, watching the Dogfight documentary “Ad Nauseam” while he slept on the couch and “babysat” Walker and Serena, the versatility of Duct Tape including to fasten fenders to his car, his music including Blueberry Hill, the Eagles and Gregorian Chants, starting all road trips at 3 a.m. in the morning to “beat the traffic” out of Charleston, WV, studying Latin for kicks, communing with the trees in his back yard, sitting on the porch and laughing with his neighbors, Tudor’s Biscuit & Sausage Gravy and homemade fried Peanut Butter and Black Raspberry Jelly sandwiches. Jim was committed to his La-Z-Boy chair and averted all physical exercise. The last time he ran was in 1971, when he lost Peggy at Coney Island, NY, and ran to the police horse she was sitting on. He was a passionate, if embarrassing supporter of Drew’s high school soccer. He loved joking around.

Jim lived his core belief from the Old Baltimore Catechism: God made us to know Him, to Love Him and to serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next. He had a deep love for the Catholic Church, the Mass and the Eucharist.

He was dear to many and will be sorely missed.

We are happy he is with God forever in the next world.

Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 13th, 2024, at Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1114 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV. Burial will immediately follow.

Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hubbard Hospice House, 1001 Curtis Price Way, Charleston, WV 25311.

You may send condolences to the family at www.barlowbonsall.com .

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements

No Events & Services

No Charities & Donations

No Videos

3 responses to James Tyler O’Neill, Jr.

  1. Joan Garten says:

    Mary, Peggy, Drew and Irene,
    Please accept our condolences on the death of your wonderful father. We got to know your Dad when I taught Colleen at Charleston Catholic. He was such a kind and thoughtful person. We often saw him at Blessed Sacrament with Colleen. He was genuinely happy even when life was difficult. You and all of your family will be in our prayers in the days ahead.
    Joan and Skip Garten

  2. My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your beloved father and grandfather. He was a happy, lovely and very dear man who will be greatly missed by those of us who knew him , much more so by his beloved family.. ….. I could hear him laugh as I read the obituary!
    Yvonne ☘️

  3. Joe Janisch says:

    We never met Jim because he was in and out of the hospital before we became his neighbors. However, we heard a lot about Jim and Mary. Clearly it is our loss that we didn’t get to know him. Your family has our sympathy and prayers as you adjust to your new normal.
    Joe and Julie Janisch

Leave A Condolence

Choose a Candle

Call Us Now!