Ken passed away at Frick Hospital on Wednesday, 7 April 2010, at 6:30PM as a the result of a brain hemorrhage.
A memorial service was held for Ken at the Calvary Assembly of God Church in Connellsville, PA at 11 AM on Saturday, May 1st. There was no viewing or funeral because Ken donated his body to science.
I'm sure that many of the folks who visit this web site knew of Ken. There is no doubt in my mind that his research opened doors and knocked down walls for many his fellow researchers, me included.
I didn't know Ken personally, but I knew of him. He was a long time O'Neal researcher. The fruits of his labor can be found at various genealogly sites on the web.
I received the following email from John O'Neal of the The O'Neal Genealogy Association:
Cuz'n Kenneth O'Neal was a co-founder of The O'Neal Genealogy Association along with Bev Crowe and I way back in 1997. His skill as a researcher and his ability and willingness to hunt down and find and record long lost cemeteries and land plats in the woods of Pennsylvania made him a valuable member of our team. He will be sorely missed. Most of his work resides today in the Bedford County Historical society in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. His Rootsweb tree can be found at: http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=ken_227&id=I00038
I'd like to join John O'Neal and those who knew or knew of Ken in offering our condolences to the family. We are truly sorry for your loss. Ken may be gone, but he certainly is not forgotten by his many friends.
I would like to thank Charles O'Neal, Ken's son, for bringing Ken's passing to our attention.
I would welcome any history, stories, or pictures of Ken that I could add in his memory. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
from Susan Eicher
I meet Ken online but he was a true friend and relative right from the start. We are part of the Eicher line. In 2007 he organized a family reunion, while it was small in attendance, it was wonderful for my family in Virginia. He rented a hall for us, where we had a picnic and than he took us on a tour and showed us all the grave sites and the Eicher Memorial stone that was dedicated in the 50's honoring the first Eicher in America. He took us to the homeplace where my grandfather was born. In Ken's honor, one cousin to another, thanks Susan Eicher
from Iva Kressler
I am so sorry to hear about Ken. I have been emailing him since August and my emails kept coming back. I just found the Memorial for him and I am so sorry he passed. The information he has on the web is fantastic. I have been looking at the Eicher web site the last month or so. Since I found out Leah Sipe was married to Andrew Eicher. I had so many questions. I have printed a lot of the information off so I can sit and read it easier. Again I am so sorry for everyone"s loss.
from Christinia Hunt
When I started my list on Yahoo.com I asked if anyone had written his or her own obituary. I believe Ken was the only one who had.
Here is what he wrote:
You asked for our own Obit. here it is ,I have had mine written for sometime, and that needs done is fill in the dates. Never know when it will be needed. Ken
The Obituary of Kenneth R. O'Neal
Kenneth "Ken" Richard O'Neal of Swink Hill Rd. , _ years old, died____________ at __________ He was the son of the late Charles W. and Mabel "Esther" Means O'Neal, of Adelaide. Ken was born January 4 , 1940 at Crossland Station , near Connellsville, PA. He was raised at Adelaide and lived all his life in the Connellsville area.
He is survived by his ex-wife Irma R. Schroyer O'Neal, and his dear friend L. Lorraine Ruffner of RD #1 Dunbar. Four children: Charles D. O'Neal and wife Anita on Mt. Pleasant RD 5 ; Kenneth M. "Mike" O'Neal and wife Beth of Mt. Pleasant; Darlene R. Doud of Pennsylvania Furnace, PA, and husband Mark; and Erica D. O'Neal of Bittner. One brother, Donald A. O'Neal and wife Francis of Lakewood, OH; two sisters Joyce D. Bishop, of Connellsville; and Lilly Parnham of Smithfield. Several nieces and nephews There are also 7 grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his mother, Mabel "Esther" Means O'Neal, in 2002: his father Charles W. O'Neal in 1974 and by an infant brother in 1938.
Ken retired from Anchor Glass Container Corp. in 1997, as a Journeyman mechanic, with 38 years of service. After retiring he enjoyed researching his Family Tree, and donating the information to local libraries, and posting his Family Tree on the Internet. He also enjoyed finding old family and abandoned cemeteries and recording the names and dates from the head stones, to put the information on the Internet and in local libraries, for genealogy researchers to use to find their ancestors.
He was a member of the Fayette Co. Genealogy Society and the Bullskin Twp, Historical Society, and The Bedford Co, Historical Society.
Ken also enjoyed working on cars and hunting and fishing, especially hunting deer with a bow and arrow.
Ken was a member of the G..M.. P. Local 139, South Connellsville Rod and Gun Club, The National Rifle Association,, Gun Owners of America, and a life member of the North American Hunting Club. He was also active in contacting politicians to preserve the Second Amendment and other Freedom Rights issues.
There will be NO viewing or funeral services. Ken understood going to a funeral home , is very unpleasant for most people, many only go because they feel it is a duty, and it is his wish that there be no viewing or funeral.service. After useable organs are removed for organ donation, the body will be cremated.
In lieu of flowers Ken would want you to join, or at least donate to the National Rifle Association and-or Gun Owners of America , to help preserve our freedoms and the Second Amendment, and the Constitution of the United States.
Below is I believe the last email that I received from him.
and my Great-Grandfather:
were siblings of Isaac:
and Mary Williams Prinkey: