One of the men who reshaped government in Sarnia and Lambton County has died.
Larry O’Neill was Enniskillen’s mayor and the Warden of Lambton County in 1989 and helped broker the deal which brought the City of Sarnia into Lambton County.
He’s also credited with securing Lake Huron water pipe lines to Enniskillen as well as helping neighbouring Dawn and Euphemia Townships extend the lines into their municipalities.
Last summer, Enniskillen Council presented O’Neill with the Senior of the Year award for his work with the grassroots anti-wind turbine group CORE – Conserve Our Rural Enniskillen. O’Neill joined the group after agents began canvassing local farmers trying to get them to sign leases for industrial wind turbines.
Mayor Kevin Marriott says O’Neill was one of many people who helped galvanize the community and led council to take a strong stand against the four companies proposing projects in the rural community. A number of the companies have backed away from their projects.
“The township would not be what it is today without your hard work,” Marriott told O’Neill during the ceremony in his backyard in August. “We often think about your hard work, especially the work you did on the water system when we sit around the council table. Life is easier in Enniskillen because of you.”
O’Neill, 71, died Tuesday after a brief battle with cancer.
Details of his funeral arrangements can be found at the end of the obituary.
W. Larry O`Neill, 71 of Enniskillen Township passed peacefully into heaven, leaving his loving wife Maureen. Larry & Maureen were married 47 years.
Larry will be greatly missed by his daughter Chantelle and son-in-law Terry Sanderson, O`Fallon, Missouri and his son Jeffrey and daughter-in-law Marcy O`Neill, Springside, Saskatchewan. His pride and great joy were his five grand-daughters, Jendaya, Jadyn and Jovanna Sanderson and Ana and Alia O`Neill.
Larry was predeceased by his parents Elsie and Otto O`Neill and his grandson, Joshua Sanderson.
Larry was Reeve,Mayor of Enniskillen Township, 1989 Warden of Lambton County, Past-President of Petrolia Rotary, Member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 216. Member of the Irish Benevelent Society, Past-Chair of the Oil Museum Foundation and involved in many other organization in his community.
He was a friend to all, a man of integrity, wisdom, a man of vision and a great listening ear. He was a community minded man who always looked for opportunities to help and serve others.
He will be sadly missed by many family members, sisters Peggy Parker (Jim), Petrolia, Joyce O`Neill-Drinnan, Okotoks, Alberta, Maureen Forbes (Jim), Sarnia. Brother-in-law Jack Fulcher, Sarnia, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Paul & Yeon-Ja, Red Deer, Alberta, Bill & Estelle Fulcher, Petrolia, Janet & Clare Love, Sarnia, Jill Fulcher, Sarnia. Also was a very special uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Visitors will be received on Friday, January 17, 2014 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Badder Funeral Home & Reception Centre, 679 North St. Dresden. The funeral service will be held from the Dresden Community Church on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 11 a.m. Interment in Blackburn Cemetery, Camden Township. As an expression of sympathy, friends who wish may make memorial donations to The Samaritan’s Purse, Petrolia Food Bank, St. Joseph’s Hospice, Sarnia or charity of your choice. Online donations and condolences may be left at www.badderfuneralhome.com.
James 3:17 “Wisdom is peace loving, gentle, willing to yield to others, and always sincere.”