Jackson, Mich., formerly Jackson, Neb.
Richard Thomas O’Neill, 77, of Jackson, Mich., formerly Jackson, Neb., survived until Oct. 26, 2019, through sheer grit and determination.
Richard was born April 1, 1942, as the first of 12 children to Thomas and Esther O’Neill in the small farming town of Jackson, Neb. He started life humbly in Jackson, with the love of his 11 siblings to sustain him where he was a star at basketball and football.
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As he found his way in life, he worked many jobs including building electrical towers, breaking horses, serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, selling office supplies and finally finding his passion in the law where he served for about 30 years as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State University and was a graduate of the inaugural class at Cooley Law School.
Richard raised his family in Eaton Rapids, where he enjoyed farming, Michigan State sports, golf and driving to and from Nebraska to attend various family events. He taught all who knew him that through hard work, you can accomplish anything, that showing up is the first step to success and that actions speak louder than words. In his retirement, he enjoyed raising alpacas, showing his horse Milton, playing euchre, poker and other card games.
He never met a car he couldn’t dent within a day of owning it or a nurse that he couldn’t charm within minutes. We knew he recovered from his numerous procedures when the first curse word came out. He truly was one of a kind and will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.
He is survived by his wife, Jan O’Neill; children, Julie O’Neill, Beth (Josh) Cooley, Cameron (Kristin) O’Neill, Greg (Shannon) D’Haem, Brea (Mark) Albulov, Alaina (Ashton) Wilson and Danica O’Neill; and 11 grandchildren, with one more waiting to make their debut any day now.
He will be met at the gates of heaven by his son, Tommy; four of his siblings, Peg, Mike, John and Patrick; and other loved ones.