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Gene O’Neill, 85

Gene P. O’Neill, age 85, of Hutchinson, passed away Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Memorial

Gene Patrick O’Neill was born Oct. 31, 1936, in Summit, NY, the son of Patrick and Helen (Zeh) O’Neill.

Gene was baptized as an infant March, 28, 1937, a very stormy and cold Easter Sunday, and later confirmed in his faith as a youth.

He received his education in Cobleskill, NY, and was a graduate with the Cobleskill Central School class of 1954. He furthered his education at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, where he received a double master’s degree in aeronautics and administration. While in college, Gene played basketball and instead of going pro, chose to enter into military service.

Gene entered active military service May 6, 1958, at Albany, NY, serving in the United States Marine Corps as an aircraft electronics technician with Marine Air-Ground Task Force 14 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC until July 27, 1961, having attained the rank of corporal.

He was accepted into the Navy ROTC program at Auburn University in Alabama and Dec. 16, 1964, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

As an anti-air warfare officer, Gene served multiple tours of duty to include assignments in the Republic of Vietnam and was selected to attend both the Amphibious Warfare Course and the Command and Staff School at Quantico, VA.

He retired with the rank of major, completing his distinguished 21-year career following an assignment to Marine Training Command in Minneapolis, May 5, 1979.

Major O’Neill’s awards include two Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 device, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal with one star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, the Combat Action Ribbon, a Navy Achievement Ribbon, and both the Air Force and the Navy Commendation medals.

Gene was united in marriage to Gloria Simonson Aug. 11, 1979, at Richfield United Methodist Church in Richfield. This marriage was blessed with three adopted children, Christopher, Shannon, and Sara.

They resided in Eden Prairie, and relocated to Glastonbury, CT in 1985.

While living in Connecticut, Gene and Gloria became members of the Glastonbury United Methodist Church. At this church, they both became born-again Christians in 1988.

In 2001, they moved to Hutchinson. Gene and Gloria became foster parents to Myles Harlander in 2009. They shared 42 years of marriage.

Gene was a member of Riverside Church in Hutchinson. He was also a member of the Marine Corps League.

Gene and Gloria shared a love for poodles – raising, breeding, and rescuing many.

He also enjoyed reading during his quiet time, carpentry, grilling, and watching his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, and football team, the New York Giants, classic cars and Ford Mustangs.

Gene especially enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

Blessed be his memory.

Gene is survived by his wife, Gloria O’Neill of Hutchinson; children, Patrick O’Neill and his wife, Heather of Destin, FL, Sara O’Neill of West Haven, CT; grandchildren, Kirstan, Megan, Kaylynn, Nelson, Magnolian, Brandon; foster-son, Myles Harlander; and many other relatives and friends.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Patrick and Helen O’Neill; and son, Christopher O’Neill.

A service took place Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Riverside Church in Hutchinson, with interment in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, at a later date.

Clergy officiating, Pastor Arnold Allison; organist, Julie Puder; soloist, Julie Puder, “No More Night,” Stephen Schimmel, “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be;” congregational hymns, “Because He Lives;” readers, Darwin Wilhite and Patt Dunnick; obituary readers, Sara O’Neill and Michael Lenz; urn bearer, Jim Noga; military honors, Hutchinson Memorial Rifle Squad.

Arrangements are by the Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com.

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