Obituaries » JOHN J. ONEILL
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Dr. John J. O’Neill, Superintendent Emeritus of Nantucket Public Schools, died on Friday, September 1, 2017 at the Community Hospice in Ft. Worth, TX.
John was born in Worcester, MA son of the late Michael F. and Helen (O’Leary). He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the College of the Holy Cross in 1951 and a then a Master’s Degree from Worcester State College.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army, went through Basic Training & Leadership school and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. and assigned to the armored school at Fort Knox, KY. He was a platoon leader and eventually Company Commander. John helped train troops for the Korean conflict.
When he returned from Fort Knox in 1954 he was a teacher and coach and then first Principal of the Forbes Junior High. In 1962 he took a leave of absence and joined the newly created Peace Corps.
John was assigned as Director of the Peace Corps training center in a tropical rain forest south of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. His plan was to do two years but with encouragement from Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver, he completed three years of service. His other government assignments were training officer of the Labor Dept. Project CAUSE, Regional Director of Project Head Start for the SMOC agency.
When he returned to the school system he was Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Sudbury, MA then became Superintendent. In 1979 he and his wife moved to Nantucket, MA where John became Superintendent of Schools. He held that position until 1990. When he retired, the school committee honored him with the rank of Superintendent Emeritus.
John’s unshakeable spiritual faith was the core of his optimistic and vibrant approach to life. He was a member of St. Mary’s Our Lady of the Isle Church in Nantucket and St. Maria Goretti’s in Arlington, TX.
He leaves his brother Daniel and wife Barbara, brother in law and caretaker Richard Anish, stepchildren Beverly, Elaine, Jon Bulger and Grace Mullins and also many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his wife Grayce H. (Bulger), brother Thomas O’Neill and sister Katherine Anish.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, September 7, at 10:30 A.M. in St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 70 West Main St., Westborough. Burial, with Military Honors, will follow in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton.
A calling hour will be held from 9 to 10 A.M. at the Britton-Summers Funeral Home, 4 Church St., Westborough, on Thursday prior to the funeral.