John H. (Jack) O’Neal
John H. (Jack) O’Neal passed away May 3, 2023. Jack was born October 19, 1931, in the Hazel Glen community West of Irondale. He was the son of Harry Overton and Lucy (Province) O’Neal. Jack was preceded in death by his father and mother and only sibling, Velma Mae O’Neal and brothers-in-law Leo and Elmo Dickey.
Jack grew up on the family farm and went to school for the first five grades in the one room Hazel Glen school (he had his sister for teacher in grades 3, 4, and 5). He went to the (big city) school at Irondale for the next few years, graduating in May of 1949.
On the 14th day of March in 1952, he became a member of the United States Air Force for four years of active duty. Jack remained a member of the Air Force Reserves until May 1971. He then transferred to the Army Reserve and served until October 19, 1991, his 60th birthday. Jack served a total of 39 years, 7 months, and 5 days with no breaks in service, an accomplishment he was very proud of; Jack achieved the rank of Master Sergeant.
Jack was a farmer by choice and enjoyed his cattle, some as pets. The family farm has been in his family since 1917. Jack also had a “day job” from October 1969 until he retired March 1, 1996. He worked as a CED (Office Manager) for the ASCS (Farm Service Agency). He started in local Washington County and also added Jefferson County to his duties in January 1973. He also had a short tour in Crawford County.
On December 24, 1960, Jack made a major decision. He and Ina Carol Dickey were married at Belgrade Methodist Church. There have been many good times in their over 62 years of marriage, residing in the same home in Irondale their entire married lives.
Jack was a member of the Irondale United Methodist Church having joined in December 1953. Jack served as lay leader and Board President when he came home from active duty. When he and Ina Carol married, she took the duty of Secretary and Treasurer. Jack was also blessed with friendship from the Irondale Assembly of God church congregation.
Jack was a 63 year member of the Masonic Lodge #143 AF & AM of Irondale. Jack was also a lifetime member of the Bismarck V.F.W. Post 6947.
Those who remain to mourn his passing are his beloved wife, Ina Carol, daughter Melissa Crews of West Bath, Maine, and daughter Sherri (Jeremy) Murrish of Florissant. Surviving grandchildren are Elliott, Audrey, Edward, and Delaney Crews of West Bath, Maine, and Reagan, Logan, and Morgan Murrish of Florissant. John is also survived by cousins by the numbers in the Province community. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Carole and Alta Mae Dickey, brother-in-law Wayne (Nancy) Dickey, many nieces and nephews, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Visitation will be held Friday, May 12th from 6 to 8 P.M. at Moore Funeral Home in Potosi. A Masonic Service will take place at 7 P.M. Visitation will resume Saturday, May 13 from 9 to 11 A.M. Funeral services will begin at 11 A.M. Burial will follow at Caledonia Methodist Cemetery in Caledonia.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Shriners Children’s Hospital of St. Louis. All services are under the care and direction of Moore Funeral Home in Potosi.
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