Cover photo for Marion O'Neill's Obituary
Marion O'Neill Profile Photo

Marion O'Neill

June 19, 1932 — April 22, 2024

Wilmington

Marion O'Neill

Marion (Ungvarsky) O'Neill passed away peacefully in her Wilmington, Delaware home on April 22, 2024, just two months shy of her 92nd birthday. She now joins her beloved husband, Jerry, who preceded her in death in 2003. Marion is survived by her three children, Patrick, Christopher, and Emily; their spouses, Jeannie, Carin, Teresa, and Mitch; seven cherished grandchildren, Alex, Andrew, Meggie, Amy, Timothy, Ben, and Julia; and one great-granddaughter, Aria Brooke.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, during the Depression, Marion was the fifth of seven children. Her father John lost his poultry business in the Great Depression and supported his family through work as a coal miner. Although they struggled economically, they were surrounded by extended family and friends in a tight-knit Slovak community. Her mother, Emily, dearly loved by all her children, suffered from diabetes and died aged 60 while John suffered from Black Lung and died at 69.  Marion and her six siblings were close throughout their entire lives. They were Eddie, who fought in the Pacific; John, who fought in Korea; Bernadine, whom Marion called her 'second Mom'; her younger brother, Carl; and a younger, beloved sister, Betsy. Marion's older sister, Emily is the last surviving sibling and lives with her husband, Joe in the Catskills.

Marion's mother used her savings to pay for Marion's first year of college at East Stroudsburg State Teacher's College.  Marion was lucky enough to get a job in the summer as a waitress at Unity House, run by the United Ladies Garment Workers' Union for its members. All vacationing members had to generously tip and Marion earned enough to pay her own way through college.  It was at ESSTC that she met Jerry, whose father was the proprietor of the Penn Stroud Hotel. They would often go to the Deer Head Inn at Delaware Water Gap to listen to jazzman, Johnny Coates Jr.

After college, she worked as a first-grade teacher in Hyde Park, NY, where she lived with her sister, Emily, a fellow teacher, and where she bought her first car, a VW Karmann Ghia. When Jerry got out of the service (during the Korean War but in occupied Germany - where he served in intelligence listening to Russian Morse code operators), they eloped and lived in some rough neighborhoods in Manhattan before settling in Woodside, Queens.  It was here where she met her lifetime friends, Jean Morris, Sue Mazza, and Peggy Creegan - all with families and living on the same apartment building floor. It was also here where she and Jerry raised Patrick, Christopher, and Emily. 

In 1976 they moved to Garden City where they lived until 2000. Marion loved Garden City and she kept busy with her family, friends, and hobbies.  She loved to garden and was always interested in learning about how things worked.  She was an active member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors and worked in estate sales, mostly to get first dibs on the antiques and interesting clocks she would collect and repair.  Her home was full of clocks and when they were all up and running, one had better watch out 'when the clock struck twelve'.

Marion suffered from dementia in her later years and was cared for by her children and caretakers, including Linda, who became like a member of the family. Full-time care was provided by her son, Chris during Covid, and then by caretakers, Callie, Dee, and the staff of Bayada Hospice.  Even though she had dementia, and up until almost the end, Marion could be very amusing. With her inhibitions removed, she was feisty and forthright to a fault but also sometimes still able to focus with empathy when she realized her interlocutor was dealing with something difficult.  Marion was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.

A Funeral Mass will take place at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at Saints Peter and Paul Church located at 13 Hudson Road, Plains, PA 18705.  Interment will take place immediately afterward at Sacred Heart Slovak Cemetery in Dallas, PA. In Marion's casket will be placed the ashes of her husband, Jerry whom Marion wished to have buried with her.

The above Funeral Mass is also for Marion's sister, Betsy Ungvarsky who passed on April 2, 2022 and wished her remains to rest next to her mother, Emily also at Sacred Heart Slovak Cemetery.

Arrangements are by Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. (484-734-8100) of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. To view Marion's online obituary, please visit
www.griecofunerals.com
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marion O'Neill, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Mass

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church

13 Hudson Road, Plains, PA 18705

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Burial

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

11:15 - 11:45 am (Eastern time)

Sacred Heart Cemetery

Dorchester Drive, Dallas, PA

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